Bolton aide Ricardel out after clash with Melania Trump

November 15, 2018

The White House said Wednesday night that top national security aide Mira Ricardel was being “transitioned” to another job in the administration, a day after first lady Melania Trump slammed her in public.

As the White House braces for even more high-level staff shakeups, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Ms. Ricardel “will continue to support the president as she departs the White House to transition to a new role within the administration.”

“The president is grateful for Ms. Ricardel’s continued service to the American people and her steadfast pursuit of his national security priorities,” Mrs. Sanders said.

Mrs. Trump’s office said Tuesday that Ms. Ricardel, deputy to National Security Adviser John R. Bolton, “no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House.” She and Mrs. Trump reportedly clashed over aspects of the first lady’s trip to Africa last month.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Mr. Bolton had resisted efforts by White House chief of staff John F. Kelly to force out Ms. Ricardel, including when Mr. Kelly cited Mrs. Trump’s concerns two weeks ago. Mrs. Trump and her staff also discussed the matter with the president during his trip to Paris last weekend, and Mr. Trump told his wife that he would have Ms. Ricardel removed, the Journal reported, citing anonymous White House officials.

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