Newly-appointed White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham was “roughed up” by North Korean security personnel during Trump’s talks with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, The Hill reports.
Grisham has only been on the job for a few days, and in fact, hasn’t even officially assumed the title yet — officially, she becomes White House Press Secretary on July 1, according to Fox News — but she’s already at the center of what could very well turn out to be an international incident.
On Sunday, Trump made history by becoming the first U.S. president to set foot on North Korean soil. Specifically, he and Kim met at the Freedom House, a building on the South Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone that is officially North Korean territory. The two are meeting in an effort to jump-start stalled denuclearization talks.
As the two men met, a group of reporters tried to enter a room inside the building. However, North Korean security blocked reporters from entering and, according to The Guardian, the reporters’ enthusiasm to get in combined with the North Koreans’ zeal to keep them out escalated into something of a scuffle.
According to reporters who were on the scene, Grisham sacrificed her safety in order to ensure that reporters got access to the building. CNN’s Allie Malloy posted on Twitter that Grisham forcibly body-checked a group North Korean security officers, long enough to open up some space in the crowd that allowed reporters to get through. Malloy and several other reporters said that Grisham shouted “Go! Go! Go!” to the reporters as they ran inside.
To add to madcap day at DMZ, the North Korean security was a little overzealous, at times trying to block US reporters’ view.— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) June 30, 2019
New WH press secretary Stephanie Grisham threw herself into it to make sure the US TV camera got into House of Freedom, and it came to body blows. pic.twitter.com/LYWhbJFkF5
CNN’s Jim Acosta tweeted that Grisham got bruised in the scuffle.
“New WH Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham got into a scuffle with the North Koreans to move members of the WH press pool into position to cover Trump and Kim, I’m told. Grisham was a bit bruised. Source called it “an all out brawl.”
It remains unclear, as of this writing, just how badly Grisham was injured in the incident, beyond the bruises claimed by witnesses. As of this writing, the White House has not officially commented on the incident.
Grisham was appointed to the job of White House Press Secretary last week after Sarah Huckabee Sanders resigned. Previously, Grisham had served as First Lady Melania Trump’s spokesperson, as well as a member of the Trump transition team. It was Melania Trump herself who announced that Grisham would be taking over the position that was vacated by Sanders.