19:47 GMT04 April 2020
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    National Security Council staffer Mira Ricardel has been forced out of a job after the US first lady, who doesn’t often voice her position publicly, called for the firing of one of the highest-ranking female White House employees. Her office stated that Ricardel no longer deserved the honour of serving in this administration.

    The feud between Mira Ricardel, the former deputy to National Security Council advisor John Bolton, and Melania Trump’s senior staffers started during the FLOTUS trip to Africa last month, the New York Times reports. Citing people familiar with the row, the outlet claims that Ricardel clashed with them over seat distribution on the plane. A seat was pulled from the National Security Council to accommodate a journalist, which angered the official.

    The outlet’s sources, who shared their insight on the condition of anonymity, also revealed that Ricardel caused disruptions during Melania Trump’s trip to Africa. She pulled resources before her journey, so the first lady’s offices lacked logistic information and readily available policy documents under tensed security circumstances.

    READ MORE: Netizens Give Tips to Melania Trump Before FLOTUS' First Solo Foreign Trip

    Although the first lady is said to have never met Ricardel in person, these issues drew her attention and prompted Mrs. Trump to bring it up to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. She also believed that Ricardel spread rumours about her. National Security Advisor John Bolton became aware of Mrs. Trump’s complaints, but Ricardel kept her office until this week, when the FLOTUS office publically called for her removal.

    "It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honour of serving in this White House," Stephanie Grisham, spokeswoman for the first lady, said on November 13, prompting media speculations on the reasons behind it.

    Three current and two former White House sources told the Washington Post that Ricardel had "spread rumors" about Secretary of Defence James Mattis, argued with the first lady, berated people at meetings and yelled at staff.

    A day later, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders stated that Ricardel "will continue to support the president as she departs the White House to transition to a new role within the administration." However, it is not known where Ricardel is destined.


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    national security advisor, US First Lady, White House, John Kelly, James Mattis, Melania Trump, Africa, United States
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