Published: Thu, November 15, 2018
Entertaiment | By Simon Arnold

Melania Trump: Fire deputy national security adviser

Melania Trump: Fire deputy national security adviser

White House Deputy National Security Adviser Mira Ricardel has left her post, following a high-profile row with US First Lady Melania Trump.

Ricardel had argued with Melania Trump about her trip to Africa last month, her first solo trip overseas without the president, three current and two former administration officials told The Washington Post in a report published Tuesday.

Shortly before the statement was issued, Ricardel was among a group of administration officials and other individuals who stood behind President Trump at a White House ceremony celebrating Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.

"The president supports Mrs. Trump's activities and her work, which should be the signal to the rest of the staff to support her, too", McBride, who has worked for three Republican presidents, said via email.

But Ricardel seems to have crossed a line in taking on Melania Trump's office over the first lady's trip to Africa in October, making what some viewed as challenging requests and being obstinate, the White House official told CNN.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

National security adviser John Bolton, who hand picked Ricardel as his deputy, was traveling overseas as Tuesday's events unfolded. The former transition official characterized Ricardel as "smart and tough", but acknowledged that she is not always effective at navigating "internal politics".

The statement amounted to a stunning public rebuke by a first lady of a senior official serving in her husband's administration.

Grisham also told CBS News that the first lady has never directly met Ricardel, and emphasized that any reports about the first lady and her staff clashing with chief of staff John Kelly and his staff is simply "not true".

Unfortunately for Ms Nielsen, Mr Trump is reportedly deeply unhappy with her handling of the department, according to several U.S. media outlets. Ricardel then joined the National Security Council as Bolton's deputy in April after he was named national security adviser.

The National Security Council (NSC) had no immediate comment.

West Wing officials were caught off guard on Tuesday by the statement from the first lady's spokeswoman targeting Ricardel, two sources familiar with the matter said.

One person said neither Trump, Kelly nor press secretary Sarah Sanders knew the statement was coming.

Obama said Former First Lady Laura Bush had extended the same offer to her in 2008 when she was the incoming first lady, but didn't say whether she had sought advice from Bush once she was in office.

Another official was more forgiving: "She'd run through a brick wall for you but her personality isn't for everyone".

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