First in a regular series on the activities of White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham. Read the rest of the series.

Everyone knows what White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham isn’t doing. Since assuming her post last summer, she hasn’t held a single formal briefing, continuing an outage that began under her predecessor, Sarah Sanders. The last White House press briefing took place on March 11, 2019.

As the White House races toward the one-year briefing-drought mark, the Erik Wemple Blog figured it would be a good time to launch The Grisham Watch, the better to routinize scrutiny of the press secretary’s activities. When she accepted the job of press secretary, she also took on the role of White House communications director — essentially strategizing rollouts of initiatives, messaging, branding, etc. — while retaining her job as the first lady’s communications director.

In an email to this blog, Grisham confirmed that she retains those three roles.

Today would have been a fine day to step up to the podium in the James S. Brady Briefing Room. There have been multiple developments on the impeachment front, including the cable-news interviews of Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani who participated in a shadow diplomacy campaign to secure considerations from Ukrainian officials. There’s a trade deal with China that could well ease long-standing concerns and obstacles facing U.S. businesses. There are revelations about how Trump treated high-ranking military personnel and diplomats in a famous meeting, as documented in a new book excerpt from Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig.

Plus: The president’s schedule is light, consisting of an event with the LSU football team and a departure for Mar-a-Lago.

As of posting time, however, there was no briefing.

The Erik Wemple Blog asked Grisham this morning what she was up to. She has a strong record of returning our email inquiries, and she responded with this list:

Phone calls w press beginning around 5:45 for AM shows
Met with 7 members of my staff (separately) on internal staff matters
Met with the legal team
Met w the POTUS
Spoke to FLOTUS on a few issues
Face timed my son to tell him to have a good day at school
Mtg in the sit room
Two mtgs with the [chief of staff] on two separate issues
Mtg with my comms team on impeachment and Davos next week
Mtg with the Advance team on Davos and press access/movements
As of this moment I have eaten two saltine crackers and had three cups of coffee
Reading through talking points and messaging for next week so I can approve dissemination
Ive used the restroom twice
In between all of that I have received countless texts and emails from reporters and other agency comms people, all of which I try to stay on top of — keeping in mind I am often in meetings that require my phone remain outside
Oh, and now taking the time to explain my day to you.

Grisham’s accounting was sent to the Erik Wemple Blog at 1:55 p.m.

When she is asked about the absence of briefings, Grisham doesn’t talk about her workload. Rather, she points out that the president very frequently answers questions from reporters at ceremonial events, trip departures and so on. She is right about that, as Trump outpaces his predecessors in Q&A sessions. The problem is that those sessions generate additional Qs along with few genuine As, which makes the briefings all the more essential.

Another reason for no briefings, she says, is that reporters abuse them. “They don’t want information, because my team and I give them information every single day. . . . They want a moment, they want their moment on TV so they can peddle their books,” Grisham said during an appearance on Fox News on Thursday.

So we checked with Grisham: Do your three roles at the White House prevent you from doing briefings?

“I prioritize everything I do each day — have to with three roles — so if the day ever comes I will prioritize and make the time,” responds Grisham.

She also added: “[It’s] my opinion that with the Press Secretary up there it has turned into more shouting and arguing and gotcha moments over substantive back and forth, which is why I have Cabinet Secretaries and other subject matter experts out there when needed.”

Here’s a deal: Should Grisham reinstitute the press briefings, we’ll stop asking her what she’s up to.

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