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: 479326

Reported Deaths: 9353
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32779484
Hinds30924582
DeSoto30319353
Jackson23542341
Rankin21235366
Lee14803219
Madison14120271
Jones13327223
Forrest13078236
Lauderdale11501303
Lowndes10377176
Lamar10163130
Pearl River9008217
Lafayette8193137
Hancock7404111
Oktibbeha6909122
Washington6900150
Monroe6459159
Neshoba6441201
Warren6387163
Pontotoc623093
Panola6203125
Bolivar6072144
Marshall6068121
Union571386
Pike5574135
Alcorn533289
Lincoln5283131
George466072
Scott454796
Leflore4444140
Prentiss443377
Tippah442180
Itawamba441599
Adams4376116
Tate4327101
Simpson4313112
Wayne430766
Copiah429587
Yazoo419686
Covington413292
Sunflower4123104
Marion4073104
Leake395486
Coahoma391098
Newton367274
Grenada3543104
Stone350359
Tishomingo333288
Attala324286
Jasper313162
Winston303091
Clay294173
Chickasaw286265
Clarke279890
Calhoun263940
Holmes261387
Smith248048
Yalobusha219647
Tallahatchie217550
Walthall209958
Greene206845
Lawrence205732
Perry198553
Amite197651
Webster195042
Noxubee177739
Montgomery171654
Jefferson Davis167442
Carroll161437
Tunica150834
Benton141533
Kemper138039
Claiborne126134
Choctaw126026
Humphreys125937
Franklin116328
Quitman103426
Wilkinson101536
Jefferson87333
Sharkey62320
Issaquena1926
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 778549

Reported Deaths: 13665
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1105871747
Mobile704651206
Madison49152610
Baldwin35946479
Shelby35796302
Tuscaloosa33410532
Montgomery32906672
Lee22231216
Calhoun20791397
Morgan19605326
Etowah18837449
Marshall17465272
Houston16452368
St. Clair15233293
Limestone14376182
Cullman14348246
Elmore14241256
Lauderdale13298278
Talladega12699230
DeKalb12036233
Walker10430323
Autauga9568133
Blount9555152
Jackson9235146
Coffee8728169
Colbert8426179
Dale8410170
Escambia6526114
Tallapoosa6501172
Covington6396163
Chilton6293141
Russell598555
Franklin5719100
Chambers5315133
Marion4734115
Dallas4665182
Clarke457076
Pike456294
Geneva4315116
Winston417192
Lawrence4086108
Bibb401680
Barbour341968
Marengo323183
Butler314988
Monroe314652
Pickens300470
Randolph299955
Henry298356
Hale289383
Cherokee284652
Fayette275672
Washington244848
Crenshaw235168
Clay225163
Macon217657
Cleburne217149
Lamar192140
Conecuh179646
Lowndes170158
Coosa166432
Wilcox155736
Bullock147742
Perry136036
Sumter124136
Greene120142
Choctaw72826
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