Aide who drew Melania Trump's ire is out of her job

Arturo Kim
November 16, 2018

A day after Melania Trump publicly called for her to leave the White House, Deputy National Security Advisor Mira Ricardel has been moved to another, unspecified job in the administration.

Among Ms Nielsen's critics has been National Security Adviser John Bolton, who last month was widely reported to have erupted in a shouting match with Mr Kelly right outside the Oval Office over her performance.

By Wednesday evening, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Ricardel had been assigned to a different position within the administration.

Ricardel, who reportedly clashed with Mrs. Trump on a recent visit to Africa, was then reassigned within the administration.

An ally of national security adviser John Bolton, Ricardel began her service in the Trump administration as associate director in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel, then moved to the Commerce Department a year ago.

News of Ricardel's departure comes as an angry Donald Trump is preparing a reshuffle at the White House after a week of brooding over midterm elections that weakened the president's grip on Congress.

Sanders did not say what Ricardel's new job would be, and she did not respond to follow-up questions. 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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Ricardel is believed to have entered into confrontation with the first lady's staff during her trip to Africa last month.

The first lady signed off on Ms Grisham's statement, according to two people familiar with the matter.

As the statement was issued, Ricardel was standing, smiling, alongside President Donald Trump at an event in the Roosevelt Room.

Ms Ricardel could not be reached for comment.

Mr. Kelly, who has held the high-pressure post for almost 16 months, is facing renewed speculation about his job security amid reports of tension between the West Wing and Mrs. Trump's office over staffing issues. Ricardel had previously worked as an undersecretary of commerce and had also held positions at the State and Defense departments.

He is travelling in Asia this week alongside Vice President Mike Pence.

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