The first lady had issued a surprising statement assuring that the ‘number two’ of the National Security Council “no longer deserves” to work for the president
The internal disputes in the corridors of power of the White House jumped on Tuesday with ferocity to the public light. The spokeswoman for Melania Trump did the unusual thing: she issued a statement in which the first lady asked for the dismissal of the deputy counselor of national security, Mira Ricardel. The number two of John Bolton has clashed in several cases with the wife of President Donald Trump, who on Wednesday was imposed in the corollary and succeeded in the dismissal of Ricardel.
“It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House, ” she said on Tuesday, about Ricardel, Melania Trump’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham . A devastating attack on the adviser, who appeared Tuesday afternoon very close to the president at an event in the White House.
A day later, the White House announced the departure of Ricardel but said it will remain linked to the Administration. “The president is grateful for his continued service to the American people and his strong advocacy of his national security priorities,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
Ricardel, 58, was an executive at Boeing Aeronautics and worked as a counselor at the Pentagon and the State Department during the George W. Bush governments. Within a month of taking office, Bolton, a hawk in foreign policy, named her in May number two in the National Security Council, the White House body that coordinates the president’s foreign and military policy.
The tension between Melania Trump and Ricardel has been in the making for weeks, but, according to sources quoted by the American media, it was accentuated during the trip to Africa that the first lady made in early October. Melania Trump would be upset because the counselor tried to limit the resources she would have on the trip, which was her first solo in her almost two years of first lady. During that period of time, he has adopted a very low profile, which makes his statement against the adviser even more surprising.
In a television interview during her trip to Africa, Melania Trump said there are people working for her husband that she does not trust although she avoided giving names. He explained that in the past he has communicated this to the president and that some of those people are no longer in the White House.
In addition, Melania Trump suspects that Ricardel has leaked to the media negative information about her, according to The Wall Street Journal . The newspaper also maintains that the adviser has clashed with the Secretary of Defense, James Mattis. Another source, quoted by Reuters, says that Ricardel “has alienated everyone”, except Bolton, in the National Security Council.
The war between the first lady and the adviser comes in the midst of information leaking that Trump is considering replacing his chief of staff, John Kelly, and the secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen. Kelly has clashed with Bolton on several issues and Nielsen is considered a protege of him because he replaced him in office when he was appointed last year as chief of staff.