Published: Thu, November 15, 2018
Life&Culture | By Mildred Hamilton

Deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel forced out of White House

Deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel forced out of White House

The host also noted that a source told White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins that Trump "was furious" that First Lady Melania Trump issued a rare public statement condemning a national security adviser prior to that adviser's ouster.

Trump has berated her during Cabinet meetings, belittled her to other White House staff and tagged her months ago as a "Bushie", a reference to her previous service under president George W. Bush and meant to cast suspicion on her loyalty.

"He listens to her more intently than anyone and respects her advice and counsel not only because she is his wife, but because her loyalty, grace, trust, elegance under fire, intellect and instincts are time-tested and proven", the president's friend, Thomas J. Barrack Jr., told The New York Times in August.

Ricardel "no longer deserves the honour", Melania Trump's spokeswoman announced Tuesday, amid a falling out that press leaks say is partly linked to a dispute over seating arrangements on the plane that took the first lady for a tour of African countries in October.

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This is a breaking story and will be updated. Ricardel is national security adviser John Bolton's deputy. The former transition official characterized Ricardel as "smart and tough", but acknowledged that she is not always effective at navigating "internal politics". 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".

But few recent administrations have been subject to the kind of staff turmoil the Trump White House has seen.

White House chief of staff John Kelly is believed to be one official at risk of losing his job.

"If I were advising the White House I'd encourage them to nominate someone with executive branch experience", said one senior DHS official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share candid views about his agency's leadership.

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Nick Ayers, a 36-year-old chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence and renowned political consultant, is reportedly high on Trump's list as a replacement. Later she went on to do doctoral work at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security declined to comment on Nielsen's potential departure.

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.

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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