Trump denies reports of White House chaos despite staff shakeups

16 November, 2018, 15:58 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Deputy National Security Adviser Mira Ricardel and first lady Melania Trump

"It is the position of the office of the first lady that [Ricardel] no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House", the first lady's communications director, Stephanie Grisham, said in a statement.

The official was reported to have made disparaging remarks about two of the first lady's staff travelling with her. Aides had said Ricardel had pushed for a seat to be reserved on the first lady's plane for a National Security Council representative to brief her during the trip.

Row: Donald Trump with wife Melania in Paris last weekend for the Armistice Day Centenary ceremony. "Seriously, this just happened".

A senior White House official whom First Lady Melania Trump demanded be removed from her post has been transferred, the Trump administration said Wednesday.

But Ms Sanders didn't say what Ms Ricardel's new job would be, and didn't respond to follow-up questions.

By Wednesday evening, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Ricardel had been assigned to a different position within the administration. 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. "I've never seen that before", he said.

Ricardel also had a fraught relationship with Kelly and Fuentes, according to people familiar with the matter.

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National security adviser John Bolton tapped Ricardel in April to serve as his deputy, hailing her "track record of successfully managing teams and diverse organizations, as well as addressing complex issues".

She's regarded as inflexible and obsessed with process, which some officials complain has complicated co-ordination between the NSC and cabinet agencies.

Mrs Trump is also said to believe Ms Ricardel was behind a series of unflattering stories about her.

While Kelly supported efforts to remove the national security aide from the White House, he reportedly thought her departure was not handled well.

Another expected reshuffle casualty is Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, a Kelly ally who oversees the politically sensitive task of carrying out Trump's crackdown on illegal immigration.

A 36-year-old top aide to Vice President Mike Pence emerged on Wednesday as the leading candidate to replace White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

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