Melania Trump demands sacking of senior national security official in extraordinary move

Larry Hoffman
November 17, 2018

In a statement on Tuesday, the Office of the First Lady said Mira Ricardel "no longer deserves the honour of serving" in the President's administration.

During her trip there, Mrs Trump told ABC in a rare interview that there were people in the White House who she does not trust.

All of which is what makes what Melania did - through her communications director Stephanie Grisham - on Tuesday sooooooo fascinating.

Ms Trump and Ms Ricardel have never met, sources added.

She was said to be close with John Bolton, the National Security Advisor. Mrs. Trump's staff said there was no room and that aides from throughout the government had been left off the manifest because of limited space.

Reports about Ricardel's "strong personality" - or her conflicts with many figures in the administration, particularly the first lady - are now spilling into the press.

Ms Ricardel could not be reached for comment.

Deputy National Security Advisor Mira Ricardel appears headed for an exit from the Trump administration, in a move likely welcomed from those loyal to Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.

"I am well aware that people are skeptical of me discussing this topic", Trump said at a roundtable event with technology executives.

Stephen Colbert called it "refreshing" that a different Trump wants somebody fired, joking that the first lady's "goodbye gift" for Ricardel would be a jacket that says, "U Don't Really Work Here Anymore, Do U?'"

Asked in Asia about the Ricardel incident, Pence said he has "great respect for her and her role".

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.

The battle between Ricardel and Melania Trump's staff is only the latest installment in first lady lore. Senior administration officials told Fox News White House correspondent John Roberts that Nielsen's removal is imminent. Nancy Reagan, for instance, had an ongoing feud with Chief of Staff Donald Regan. She pulled resources before her journey, so the first lady's offices lacked logistic information and readily available policy documents under tensed security circumstances.

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"I remain committed to tackling this topic because it will provide a better world for our children", she continued, "and I hope that like I do, you will consider using their negative words as motivation to do all you can to bring awareness and understanding about responsible online behavior".

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