White House official criticised by first lady removed from post

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Who is Mira Ricardel and why did Melania Trump want her fired?

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.

Amidst the perceived chaos occurring on a regular basis at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue due to leaks, the undermining of the president's agenda, and general bad behavior, Melania Trump has emerged as an effective counter-force.

Trump was convinced that Ricardel was spreading false information about her office and planting negative stories in the media about her stay in Egypt.

Amid frantic searches to see when was the last time, if ever, a first lady struck directly at a Presidential aide, speculation raged about why Ricardel attracted Melania Trump's fury: Scuttlebutt was that she clashed with the first lady's staff over her (Melania Trump's) recent trip to Africa. She was forced to resign on Wednesday after a showdown with Mrs. Trump and her staff.

Deputy National Security Advisor Mira Ricardel has now departed the White House and will be transferred to a new role within the administration.

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Mrs Ricardel was hired away from the Department of Commerce by National Security Advisor John Bolton, and has decades of experience working in the United States government.

Among the information distributed was that Ricardel had been confirmed by the Senate past year as undersecretary for export administration. But the first lady viewed the conservative operative, who was among the most senior women in the West Wing, as a toxic influence in the White House.

In an interview with ABC News last month, Melania was straightforward, acknowledging that she was the "gatekeeper" to the president and noting that there were untrustworthy people in the White House.

Colbert described the statement as "a classy way to diss somebody", and then imagined the next statement: "Furthermore it is the position of this office that the first lady will cut a bitch". "The President is grateful for Ms. Ricardel's continued service to the American people and her steadfast pursuit of his national security priorities", she said.

The fate of Ricardel seemed to be sealed following a statement issued by the First Lady, who said that the deputy advisor did not deserve to be employed by her husband.

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Nielsen could be the first of several changes in Trump's Cabinet and staff.

Despite the White House drama, Sanders said earlier in the day Wednesday that Ricardel remained on the job.

Anita McBride, who was chief of staff to first lady Laura Bush, said Melania Trump's move was a dramatic show of power.

If they didn't, she said, "they certainly learned through this".

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