Mira Ricardel out as Trump’s deputy national security adviser after Melania feud
Nov 15, 2018, 02:45
- First Lady strikes - While speculation swirled around Melania Trump's dislike for Kelly, she has been fully open in a rare, protocol-busting demand for the firing of another staffer - Bolton's deputy Mira Ricardel.
A spokesman for the National Security Council had no immediate comment. A senior administration official told CBS News' Fin Gomez that there has been a first lady staff-led fight against Ricardel, particularly on her trip to Africa over seating and utilizing National Security Council resources.
The publication reports that Melania's big power grab comes at a time when "infighting among White House staff nearing Civil War-like levels", thus reducing Kelly to being a mere "bystander" instead of a manager.
Adding to the sense of upheaval at the White House, Special Counsel Robert Mueller was planning to file more indictments in his 18-month investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign, sources said.
Ricardel remained in her post-Wednesday, but it seemed unlikely she could last much longer.
"I assume Melania's doing it with her traditional goodbye gift: a jacket that says, 'U don't really work here anymore do u?'" Colbert joked.
She went on to hold positions in three Republican administrations, working in the departments of State, Defense and Commerce, as well as acting as an aide to then Republican Senate leader Bob Dole. After reports circulated that the president had made a decision to remove Ricardel, the first lady's spokeswoman issued a statement saying: "It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House".
National security adviser John Bolton, who was in Singapore when news of Ricardel's dismissal broke, said when he tapped her to be his deputy in April that she "has a track record of successfully managing teams and diverse organizations, as well as addressing complex issues".
"It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that [Ricardel] no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House", Stephanie Grisham, Melania Trump's communications director, said in an extraordinary statement on Tuesday.
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.
A former Trump transition official who is close to Ricardel said Ricardel thinks Mattis "never should have been appointed and thinks he's a Democrat and tells anyone who will listen". But the official said she has been given some time to clear out her desk.
Colleagues who've worked closely with Nielsen and defend her performance at DHS say working for Trump on immigration issues is miserable because the president has an unrealistic view of border security and little patience for the intricacies of USA immigration law.
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Alice Allison Dunnigan was the first African-American to serve as White House correspondent, which she gained access to in 1947. During the gaggle in front of the White House, Trump continued to criticize reporters and went after another reporter of color.
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Sayoc, shackled at the wrists and ankles and wearing a tan jail jumpsuit, said little at the hearing but at one point tearing up. The official wasn't authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press.
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