Deputy national security advisor Mira Ricardel is leaving the White House, one day after First Lady Melania Trump's office issued an extraordinary statement calling for her dismissal.
No replacement was named. Aides said Ricardel clashed with the first lady's staff over her visit to Africa last month. Yet it is highly unusual for a first lady or her office to weigh in on personnel matters, especially the president's national security staff.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Ricardel would have a new role in the administration.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is running to take over next year’s shrunken caucus in closed-door elections that will set the tone for the new Congress.
The race for minority leader is McCarthy’s to lose Wednesday. But the California Republican, who is an ally of President Trump, must fend off a challenge from conservative Jim Jordan of Ohio. Jordan is a leader of the House Freedom Caucus.
The two encountered questions and finger-pointing during a private meeting with lawmakers Tuesday night as the GOP sorted through the midterm defeat that put Democrats in the majority next year.
First Lady Melania Trump’s office said she wants Mira Ricardel, the deputy national security advisor, ousted from the White House.
“It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House,” Trump’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said in a statement in response to a question about reports the first lady had sought Ricardel’s removal.
Ricardel is the top deputy to national security advisor John Bolton. She drew the first lady’s wrath after threatening to withhold National Security Council resources during Melania Trump’s trip to Africa last month unless Ricardel was included in her entourage, one person familiar with the matter said.
CNN said Tuesday that it is suing President Trump and other administration officials over the decision to suspend the White House press credentials of correspondent Jim Acosta after a conflict at a news conference last week.
President Trump is brushing off former First Lady Michelle Obama's declaration that she can't forgive him for campaign rhetoric that potentially put her family at risk.
Trump instead pointed to former President Obama, telling reporters outside the White House on Friday, "She talked about safety. What he did to our military made this country very unsafe for you and you and you." Trump didn't explain what he meant.
In the former first lady’s upcoming memoir, she says Trump's rhetoric barely concealed "bigotry and xenophobia" that was "dangerous, deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks."