STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Melania Trump's hidden hand just became not so hidden

Melania Trump is, without question, the most enigmatic and least-known first lady in modern memory. She is d...

Posted: Nov 14, 2018 2:04 PM
Updated: Nov 14, 2018 2:04 PM

Melania Trump is, without question, the most enigmatic and least-known first lady in modern memory. She is deeply private, rarely offering even the slightest glimpse into what she thinks about her husband's administration -- or the country as a whole.

All of which is what makes what Melania did -- through her communications director Stephanie Grisham -- on Tuesday sooooooo fascinating.

Celebrities

Donald Trump

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Melania Trump

Political Figures - US

Politics

US federal government

White House

"It is the position of the office of the first lady that [deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel] no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House," said Grisham.

And boom goes the dynamite!

Within hours, Ricardel, who had reportedly clashed with the first lady and her staff during a recent trip to Africa, was gone -- off the White House grounds and widely rumored to have been fired. (Sidebar: Really? This is solely about a series of clashes during an Africa trip? I mean, OK. But, odd.)

The removal of Ricardel may well signal the opening gambit in a broader staff shakeup in the White House, with chief of staff John Kelly and Kirstjen Nielsen, the head of the Department of Homeland Security, rumored to also be on their way out amid Trump's unhappiness with their respective performances.

But Ricardel's unceremonious ouster offers surefire proof of one thing: Cross Melania Trump and you are going to get got.

Donald Trump doesn't a) listen to almost anyone or b) care what almost anyone thinks. But it's been made pretty clear over his first two-ish years in office that his wife is someone he listens to -- or, at the very least, is invested in trying to keep happy. And when Melania isn't happy, things happen. And they happen quickly.

The Point: It's exceedingly rare that we are given a window into Melania Trump's thinking -- and how she exerts her influence on her husband to make things happen in the White House. Today was one of those unique moments.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 98886

Reported Deaths: 2979
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7189161
DeSoto569464
Harrison394175
Jackson358570
Rankin337280
Madison334190
Lee293572
Forrest254275
Jones252780
Washington227879
Lafayette221240
Lauderdale2078126
Bolivar187370
Oktibbeha181952
Lamar176237
Lowndes160858
Neshoba1599104
Panola151631
Sunflower149146
Leflore143882
Warren141850
Pontotoc130116
Monroe125369
Pike124954
Copiah119933
Scott118027
Coahoma117530
Lincoln112353
Marshall111821
Grenada110136
Holmes110060
Yazoo106733
Simpson105847
Tate101938
Union101224
Leake96538
Adams94937
Wayne91521
Pearl River91453
Prentiss88418
Marion87537
Itawamba85921
Alcorn83411
Covington83223
George78513
Tallahatchie78324
Newton78124
Winston74619
Tishomingo71039
Tippah70518
Chickasaw69524
Attala67225
Clarke61149
Walthall60426
Clay59919
Hancock59822
Jasper58415
Noxubee55816
Smith55115
Calhoun52912
Tunica50015
Montgomery47020
Claiborne46516
Yalobusha44414
Lawrence43914
Perry43221
Quitman3905
Greene38917
Stone38013
Humphreys37715
Jefferson Davis34711
Amite34210
Webster33913
Carroll33112
Wilkinson30818
Kemper29115
Sharkey26714
Jefferson2439
Benton2333
Franklin1993
Choctaw1876
Issaquena1063
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 138162

Reported Deaths: 2405
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson20221352
Mobile13558295
Tuscaloosa9029118
Montgomery8894187
Madison800580
Shelby616450
Lee601761
Baldwin564052
Marshall398345
Etowah357545
Calhoun356944
Morgan334929
Houston295421
Elmore273948
DeKalb246121
St. Clair237937
Walker236987
Talladega219030
Limestone215720
Cullman192220
Dallas179926
Franklin179430
Autauga179127
Russell17903
Lauderdale175934
Colbert168426
Blount162915
Escambia162024
Jackson161112
Chilton160930
Dale141844
Covington141628
Coffee13936
Pike122011
Chambers117942
Tallapoosa117385
Clarke110916
Marion97629
Butler91740
Barbour8967
Winston75112
Marengo72820
Pickens67215
Randolph67213
Bibb66411
Lowndes65927
Hale65328
Geneva6505
Lawrence63625
Cherokee62013
Bullock61015
Clay5929
Monroe5928
Washington56012
Crenshaw54532
Perry5436
Conecuh53811
Wilcox53211
Henry5145
Macon48318
Fayette47311
Sumter43419
Cleburne4085
Lamar3822
Choctaw35212
Greene30615
Coosa1743
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 77°
Columbus
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 78°
Oxford
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 75°
Starkville
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 73°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather