The top deputy to the national security adviser Mira Ricardel has been asked to leave the White House at the request of first lady Melania Trump according to the first lady’s office.
A statement from Melania Trump’s communication director Stephanie Grisham said “It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that [Ricardel] no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House,”
As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, Ricardel was forced out by president Donald Trump at the request of the first lady due to issues that arose during a recent trip to Africa last month wherein Mrs. Trump staff’s battled with Ms. Ricardel during the trip over seating on the plane, there reportedly were no seats left on the plane for the security adviser and several others, and requests to use National Security Council resources. Additionally Mr. Trump was also told that Ricardel was responsible for negative stories about Mrs. Trump and her staff.
According to The Journal, in the past, Ricardel is also reported to have clashed with with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and his Pentagon team over staffing decisions and policy differences, as well as being a key ally for National Security Advisor John Bolton, who prevented Ricardel from being fired by Chief of Staff John Kelly over concerns Mrs. Trump had about Ricardel two weeks ago. On president Trump’s trip to Paris, Mrs. Trump discussed firing Ricardel with the president who told her that he would have Ricardel removed from her position.
By forcing out Ricardel, the turnover rate at the White House continues to grow, with the current turnover rate reaching 58 percent since Trump took office for members of the executive office which does not include cabinet members. In just the first year of his presidency, Trump had three departures in his cabinet, which is more than the past five presidents combined, as they all had zero departures in their first year. So far this year, Trump has had six departures, which ties Bill Clinton’s presidency for cabinet level departures. In the 663 days that Trump has been in office, he has had the same number of cabinet departures that president Obama had in the eight years that he was president. This number could increase with talks of chief of staff John Kelly, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke all being discussed to be replaced in the coming weeks.