Mira Ricardel is the top deputy to national security adviser John Bolton. Ricardel was one of the first people Bolton hired for his staff after being named the president’s national security adviser in April. Ricardel has been in conflict with other members of the administration.
On Tuesday, first lady Melania Trump’s office released a harsh condemnation of Ricardel saying that she “no longer deserves the honor” of working in the White House. The statement was released after a Wall Street Journal report that Trump will dismiss Ricardel at the request of the first lady.
The first lady’s communications director, Stephanie Grisham, told ABC News, speaking about 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.”
Just asked the First Lady’s office about deputy national security advisor Mira 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,” Stephanie Grisham The First Lady’s communication director to @ABC
— John Santucci (@Santucci) November 13, 2018
While the first lady traveled in Africa, on her first solo trip since her husband took the oath of office, her staff was in conflict with Ricardel. Melania’s staff says that Ricardel did not allow them to use National Security Counsel (NSC) resources during the trip. The first lady’s staff also said that they believe Ricardel started less than flattering stories about Melania and her staff.
From The Wall Street Journal:
The president became involved in that decision at the urging of first lady Melania Trump, whose staff battled with Ms. Ricardel during the first lady’s trip to Africa last month over seating on the plane and requests to use National Security Council resources, according to people familiar with the matter.
The first lady’s team told the president that they suspect Ms. Ricardel is behind some negative stories about Ms. Trump and her staff.
Ricardel’s most significant responsibilities at the NSC are interagency coordination between the NSC and the State Department, Pentagon, and other agencies. Ricardel coordinates policy regarding major issues including cyber strategy, Syria, and Iran.
One administration official said, “There are people across the interagency with varying degrees of frustration about the current coordination process . . . . given some of the issues that have lingered — cyber, Syria, Iran — big issues out there that require NSC leadership to coordinate.”
White House officials say that the first lady’s concerns about Ricardel were brought to the president during the couple’s recent trip to Paris. Officials say that President Trump would Melania that he would remove Ricardel.