Deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel was removed from her post Wednesday—the day after Melania Trump's office released a highly unusual statement calling for her firing. "Mira Ricardel will continue to support the president as she departs the White House to transition to a new role within the administration," press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. "The president is grateful for Ms. Ricardel's continued service to the American people and her steadfast pursuit of his national security priorities." Sources tell CNN that no new role has been found yet for Ricardel, who had served as deputy to national security adviser John Bolton for seven months.
Sources tell the New York Times that Ricardel, who apparently never met Melania Trump in person, clashed with the first lady's staff over plane seating on her trip to Africa last month, becoming angry when a seat for an NSC staffer was pulled to make room for a journalist. Melania Trump's staff also accused Ricardel of withholding resources like logistical information, and suspected she was the person who told a journalist about the first lady's $95,000 spend at a Cairo hotel. Ricardel was apparently already unpopular inside the administration: Insiders tell the Wall Street Journal that she was seen "as overly attentive to rank and prone to meddling in other official' communications." (John Kelly may also be on the way out.)