Mira Ricardel, a top National Security Council official, will be leaving her position after the first lady’s office called for her to be fired, saying earlier this week that “she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House.”
“The president is grateful for Ms. Ricardel’s continued service to the American people and her steadfast pursuit of his national security priorities,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the public call for her ouster stemmed from a clash with Ricardel over seating on the plane during the first lady’s trip to Africa and requests to use NSC resources. Her office also suspected Ricardel of being the source of negative press about the first lady and her staff.
The White House said she will “transition to a new role within the administration.” According to The Hill, this “appears to be a compromise solution, since national security adviser John Bolton reportedly fought to save Ricardel, his top deputy.”
Bolton brought Ricardel on board in May to serve as his No. 2 on the National Security Council. She earned a reputation as an enforcer and fierce bureaucratic infighter, clashing with White House chief of staff John Kelly and Defense Secretary James Mattis.
But it appears Ricardel's conflict with Melania Trump was the final straw. (The Hill)
Melania Trump appeared to allude to the situation during an interview with ABC last month on her trip to Africa, saying there are people in the White House she did not trust, some of whom still work there.
“It’s harder to govern. You always need to watch your back,” she said.