Donald Trump famously said that he was going to drain the swamp and only hire the best people, when in fact he brought the swamp with him, and his idea of “best” is clearly open to wide interpretation. His third press secretary in less than three years, Stephanie Grisham, lost one job for plagiarism and another for cheating on expense reports. Plus, she’s been arrested twice for DUI — the second time in 2015 when working for the Trump campaign. New York Times:
In December 2015 in Arizona, Ms. Grisham was arrested for driving under the influence. She pleaded guilty and was fined, and in August 2016 the court ordered her into a treatment program. It was a second offense: In 2013 she was arrested for driving under the influence, speeding and driving with an invalid license.
While working in public relations and writing traffic safety briefs for AAA, Grisham got a bit careless with her bookkeeping.
A former AAA employee with direct knowledge of the matter said Ms. Grisham left after accusations that she filed false claims for travel and other expenses. A spokeswoman for AAA Arizona declined to discuss personnel matters.
Ms. Grisham lost a subsequent job after an accusation of plagiarism.
She had gone to work for an advertising agency in Arizona whose clients included a start-up called GarageFly, an online service that helps car owners find auto repair shops. While making a presentation to the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, GarageFly’s founder showed off his website. In an interview, he said he was quickly informed by a furious attendee from AAA that the website included material lifted verbatim from AAA.
GarageFly’s founder said he had not known because the website was created by GarageFly’s ad agency, Mindspace. And the Mindspace employee responsible for placing the AAA material on the GarageFly website turned out to be Ms. Grisham, according to two other people involved in the matter. Ms. Grisham lost her job. The agency’s owner, Brent Shetler, confirmed Ms. Grisham’s employment but declined to discuss the reasons for her departure.
But, as you know, none of this matters to Trump. All he cares about is cultish devotion. As long as that’s there, Trump doesn’t care if you go home and kill your own children and bake them in a pie.
From her bosses, Ms. Grisham “gets a lot of praise for being loyal,” said David Bodney, a media lawyer in Arizona who tangled with Ms. Grisham over reporter access to public records when she worked in state government there.
“But her job is to make information available,” Mr. Bodney said. “She’s now in a unique position to either serve or frustrate the public interest. Unfortunately, her tenure in Arizona does not bode well.”
Nothing about this woman’s history bodes well. When she first began working for Trump as a press wrangler, passing out fast food and tracking down lost gear, she said that she was “riding it until the money runs out.” Like her predecessor, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, she’s found another vein of gold to tap and that’s what she’s doing. Nothing wrong with making money and advancing oneself, but there’s a lot wrong with compromising the essential principles and values of any given job and perverting it into something it’s not. The job of White House press secretary used to be an honorable one, the capstone on the pyramid of a professional resume in communications. Now, in Trumpworld, it has devolved into a money-making gig for any hack shill that is willing to sell his or her soul and lie like the wind blows. Grisham fits right in.