Tuesday 24 September 2019

Trump aide departs West Wing after rebuke from first lady

Mira Ricardel will have a new role in the administration, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

Mira Ricardel is leaving the White House after first lady Melania Trump’s office called for her dismissal (Evan Vucci/AP)
Mira Ricardel is leaving the White House after first lady Melania Trump’s office called for her dismissal (Evan Vucci/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

US deputy national security adviser 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 Ms 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 Ms Ricardel will have a new role in the administration.

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The first lady’s office issued a statement calling for Mira Ricardel’s dismissal (AP)

On Tuesday, Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s spokeswoman, released a statement saying: “It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honour of serving in this White House.”

President Donald Trump’s White House has set records for administration turnover. Ms Ricardel was the third person to hold the post under Mr Trump.

An ally of national security adviser John Bolton, Ms 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 last year.

Mr Bolton brought her into the West Wing shortly after taking the job in April. He is travelling in Asia this week alongside Vice President Mike Pence.

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