Published: Fri, November 16, 2018

Trump fires senior advisor at start of expected White House reshuffle

Trump fires senior advisor at start of expected White House reshuffle

On Tuesday the office of the First Lady had gone public saying, deputy national security advisor Mira Ricardel "no longer deserves the honour of serving in this White House".

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced Wednesday that Ricardel will be leaving her post.

The news came just a day after US First Lady Melania Trump called for the official to be sacked.

According to United States media reports earlier this week, Mrs Trump and Mrs Ricardel quarrelled over seating arrangements on her plane. "Seriously, this just happened".

In an ABC interview during her trip to Africa, Melania Trump said she gave "my honest advice" about certain White House staffers to her husband, and "some people, they don't work there anymore". Sanders did not elaborate on what Ricardel's new job would be.

Ricardel was said to have clashed with the first lady's staff over her trip to Africa last month.

Bolton hired Ricardel in April from the Commerce Department.

A former Trump transition official who is close to Ricardel said Ricardel thinks Mattis "never should have been appointed and thinks he's a Democrat and tells anyone who will listen".

Trump, after congressional elections last week in which his Republican Party saw its power eroded, is also preparing to oust Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen as part of a post-election Cabinet shakeup, several USA officials said.

Among Ms Nielsen's critics has been National Security Adviser John Bolton, who last month was widely reported to have erupted in a shouting match with Mr Kelly right outside the Oval Office over her performance.

She's regarded as inflexible and obsessed with process, which some officials complain has complicated co-ordination between the NSC and cabinet agencies.

Trump was seen talking to Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, Nick Ayers, at an Election Night gathering last week, according to two people familiar with the matter - an encounter that's fed rumours among Trump associates that Ayers may replace Kelly.

Another expected reshuffle casualty is Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, a Kelly ally who oversees the politically sensitive task of carrying out Trump's crackdown on illegal immigration.

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