Trump jettisons key adviser after first lady criticized her
The White House on Wednesday announced the departure of Mira Ricardel , the deputy national security adviser to President Donald Trump , one day after the office of first lady Melania Trump openly called for her firing.
“Mira Ricardel will continue to support the president as she departs the White House to transition to a new role within the administration,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement, although she did not specify what job Ricardel would be doing.
Sanders added that Trump thanked Ricardel for her service to date and for her firm commitment to national security priorities.
Ricardel had been National Security Adviser John Bolton’s No. 2 and had played a key role in discussions and debates on the administration’s foreign policy.
Stephanie Grisham, the spokeswoman for Mrs. Trump’s office, said in a statement released on Tuesday that “It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House.”
According to several US media outlets, Ricardel clashed with staffers of the first lady over a question linked to Mrs. Trump’s trip to Africa last October.
The Wall Street Journal said that Mrs. Trump suspected that Ricardel had leaked negative stories about her and her team to the media.
The daily also reported that she had had difficulties with Defense Secretary James Mattis over “policy differences.”
Ricardel, 58, was appointed to the deputy national security post in May, one month after Trump named Bolton to replace Gen. H.R. McMaster as national security adviser.
The first lady’s unusual that Ricardel be fired comes amid rumors that Trump is considering dismissing Chief of Staff John Kelly and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, among others.