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Trump's top aide to step down day after Melania called for removal

By Desk FnF | PUBLISHED: 15, Nov 2018, 10:24 am IST | UPDATED: 22, Nov 2018, 12:45 pm IST

 Trump's top aide to step down day after Melania called for removal

Desk FnF: Deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel, whose firing was sought by the office of first lady Melania Trump, will step down, the White House said Wednesday.

In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Ricardel is leaving her post and will "transition to a new role within the Administration."

The news comes one day after the office of the first lady called for Ricardel's firing, saying that "she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House."

National security adviser John Bolton tapped Ricardel in April to serve as his deputy, hailing her "track record of successfully managing teams and diverse organizations, as well as addressing complex issues." Ricardel had previously worked as an undersecretary of commerce and had also held positions at the State and Defense departments.

Yet according to current and former officials, Ricardel had frequently clashed with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, berated people in meetings, yelled at professional staff and argued with the first lady.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly had sought for months to oust Ricardel, and Mattis had told advisers that he wants her out as well, the officials said.

Sanders said Wednesday that President Trump "is grateful for Ms. Ricardel's continued service to the American people and her steadfast pursuit of his national security priorities." It was not immediately clear what her next position within the administration would be.