Wednesday 19 December 2018

Melania Trump publicly calls for White House aide’s firing

The Wall Street Journal reported that Melania Trump’s staff and Mira Ricardel had clashed during the first lady’s recent trip to Africa.

Melania Trump has called for a White House official to be dismissed (Benoit Tessier/Pool Photo via AP)
Melania Trump has called for a White House official to be dismissed (Benoit Tessier/Pool Photo via AP)

By Darlene Superville, Associated Press

Melania Trump has publicly called for the dismissal of a top White House National Security Council official.

After reports circulated that US President Donald Trump had decided to remove Mira Ricardel from her post as deputy national security adviser, Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s spokeswoman, released a statement that said: “It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honour of serving in this White House.”

Shortly before the statement came out, Ms Ricardel was among a group of administration officials and other individuals who stood behind Mr Trump at a White House ceremony celebrating Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.

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Deputy National Security Adviser Mira Ricardel, centre right, watches as Donald Trump arrives for a Diwali ceremony (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Wall Street Journal reported that the first lady’s staff and Ms Ricardel had clashed during Mrs Trump’s visit to Africa in October over such things as seating on the plane and requests to use the council’s resources.

A spokesman for the National Security Council had no immediate comment.

Mrs Trump is very protective of her husband and is considered to be an influential adviser, as many first ladies have been with their spouses.

Mrs Trump is also one of the most private first ladies in recent memory, which made the public announcement about her displeasure with a top West Wing official all the more surprising.

In an interview with ABC News during her five-day trip to Ghana, Mali, Kenya and Egypt last month, the first lady said there are people in the White House she and the president cannot trust. She declined to name anyone but said she had let Mr Trump know who they are.

She said: “Well, some people, they don’t work there anymore.”

Asked if some untrustworthy people still worked in the White House, she replied, “Yes.”

Press Association

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