Deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel forced out of White House

The White House, after a day of uncertainty, confirmed Wednesday that deputy national security adviser Mira ...

Posted: Nov 15, 2018 11:38 AM
Updated: Nov 15, 2018 11:38 AM

The White House, after a day of uncertainty, confirmed Wednesday that deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel is leaving her position after first lady Melania Trump's office issued an unprecedented public statement calling for her ouster.

In a statement, press secretary Sarah Sanders said, "Mira 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."

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Multiple West Wing officials were unable to say where she is going -- because they do not know. Two officials raised the possibility that the White House has not determined where Ricardel will go yet.

An additional senior official confirmed today was Ricardel's last day at NSC, and she won't be finishing out the week in her old post.

Sanders declined to comment beyond her statement.

Ricardel's departure from the White House comes as rumors swirl about who's in and who's out in President Donald Trump's administration. The President has reportedly been in a foul mood since Republicans lost the House in last week's midterm elections and aides are bracing themselves for a staffing shake-up in a White House that's become a tumultuous place to work, rife with more frequent outbursts.

The statement released by Melania Trump's office on Tuesday seemed to come out of the blue and put the focus squarely on Ricardel, who was not one of the more well-known members of the White House team before Tuesday afternoon.

"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 Tuesday's statement.

That statement was a stunning public scolding by a first lady of a top official in her husband's administration, coming after reports that Ricardel could be pushed out. It caught the President, chief of staff John Kelly and Sanders all off guard.

One person familiar with the matter said Ricardel quarreled with the first lady's staff over her October trip to Africa on issues including seating on the plane and use of National Security Council resources.

Ricardel seemed to have crossed a line in taking on the first lady's office over the trip, making what some viewed as challenging requests and being obstinate, a White House official told CNN.

The first lady's office did not respond to CNN's request comment Wednesday on Ricardel's move.

Sources said the President told advisers Tuesday that he had decided to fire Ricardel but that he was giving her time to clear her desk. Ricardel served as national security adviser John Bolton's right hand woman for nearly seven months.

Bolton, who was in Singapore when the news on Ricardel's future broke Tuesday, will lose a key ally in Ricardel, who served in the departments of State, Defense and Commerce under three Republican administrations.

One source familiar with the situation said Ricardel's dismissal was due in part to her "bullying" of aides both above and below her.

Tensions had also been rising between Ricardel and Kelly and his deputy Zach Fuentes in recent weeks, according to people familiar with the matter. Kelly and Fuentes believe Ricardel was leaking negative stories about them to the press, the people said.

Ricardel also clashed with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis during the transition. She blocked some of his choices for Pentagon positions because they included former Obama administration officials who she felt were not strict Republican loyalists, multiple defense officials told CNN. Mattis then blocked Ricardel from getting a high ranking Pentagon position.

Throughout Ricardel's tenure at the National Security Council, White House sources repeatedly leaked stories to the press saying that she and Bolton were spreading rumors about Mattis' imminent departure in an effort to pressure the Pentagon chief to leave.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 309223

Reported Deaths: 7153
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21005250
Hinds19989411
Harrison17590303
Rankin13388277
Jackson13169243
Madison9965212
Lee9900170
Jones8319161
Forrest7554149
Lauderdale7232237
Lowndes6306144
Lamar614685
Lafayette6081118
Washington5296133
Bolivar4778130
Oktibbeha458097
Panola4461103
Pearl River4447142
Warren4310119
Marshall4302103
Pontotoc417672
Monroe4063132
Union405175
Neshoba4009176
Lincoln3892109
Hancock373785
Leflore3471124
Sunflower332090
Tate325984
Pike3226105
Scott311973
Yazoo305369
Alcorn301566
Itawamba297977
Copiah294365
Coahoma290779
Simpson290486
Tippah285368
Prentiss276659
Marion266479
Leake262473
Wayne261541
Grenada257385
Covington255380
Adams247082
Newton246161
George238947
Winston226181
Tishomingo222867
Jasper220248
Attala213673
Chickasaw205857
Holmes187272
Clay183354
Stone179733
Clarke178177
Tallahatchie176240
Calhoun165632
Yalobusha160236
Smith159734
Walthall131143
Greene129633
Lawrence126823
Noxubee126634
Montgomery125842
Perry125238
Amite121041
Carroll121026
Webster113932
Jefferson Davis105932
Tunica103425
Claiborne101430
Benton97525
Kemper95728
Humphreys94732
Franklin83123
Quitman78916
Choctaw74417
Wilkinson65329
Jefferson64928
Sharkey49817
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 522512

Reported Deaths: 10790
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson755371494
Mobile39129799
Madison34124500
Tuscaloosa25408444
Montgomery24059573
Shelby23225242
Baldwin20730302
Lee15638166
Calhoun14358311
Morgan14171273
Etowah13705348
Marshall12012220
Houston10416279
Elmore10024203
Limestone9862148
Cullman9509191
St. Clair9486236
Lauderdale9280233
DeKalb8762183
Talladega8127173
Walker7151276
Autauga6763106
Jackson6762110
Blount6532133
Colbert6236132
Coffee5436113
Dale4781111
Russell431239
Franklin421382
Chilton4130110
Covington4069115
Tallapoosa3922148
Escambia390374
Dallas3528150
Chambers3519122
Clarke347360
Marion3076100
Pike306676
Lawrence296395
Winston273272
Bibb256761
Marengo248561
Geneva246475
Pickens233259
Barbour227155
Hale218675
Butler213268
Fayette209660
Henry188444
Cherokee182744
Randolph177841
Monroe173140
Washington165538
Macon156548
Clay150255
Crenshaw149557
Cleburne147041
Lamar140034
Lowndes137353
Wilcox124727
Bullock122040
Conecuh109728
Perry107726
Sumter103332
Coosa99428
Greene91434
Choctaw58824
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