On Tuesday, a feud between Melania Trump and deputy national security adviser, Mira Ricardel, exploded into the public when Trump’s office released a statement publicly calling for Ricardel’s firing.

“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 communication director, Stephanie Grisham said in a statement directed toward Ricardel.

Tension between the two reportedly began during a trip to Africa last month over airplane seating. Ricardel ended up not going on the trip and was later accused by Trump’s staff for spreading false stories about the incident and the team. Ricardel and the first lady’s staff was said to have also clashed over an issue revolving around the use of the National Security Council resources. 

In April, Ricardel was hired by national security adviser, John Bolton, for her “track record of successfully managing teams and diverse organizations, as well as addressing complex issues,” which he said during the appointing taping. Over the past seven months, Ricardel has feuded with many people within the Trump administration, including chief of staff John Kelly, his deputy Zach Fuentes and Defense Secretary James Mattis. 


Before the 2016 presidential election, Ricardel became the head of Pentagon appointments on Trump’s transition team. During the job, she reportedly stopped Mattis from hiring officials over her concerns about their party affiliation and their previous support for Democratic presidential nominee Hilary Clinton. When news broke of Trump’s shocking statement about Ricardel, Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon, “I don’t comment on other people’s staffing issues.”

Kelly has reportedly been looking for ways to force Ricardel out for weeks and wants Bolton to replace Ricardel. According to White House officials, Trump had discussed her issues with Ricardel with Kelly during the administration’s trip to Paris earlier this week. Officials also revealed that President Donald Trump has made the decision to remove Ricardel, but was giving her time to clear her desk. 

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