Donald Trump is under pressure from his wife, Melania, to fire his deputy national security adviser over what two sources close to the White House said was the way Melania’s trip to Africa was handled. And according to CNN, Donald Trump is not happy about it.
Two Trump aides said Trump was considering forcing out deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel, but as of Wednesday afternoon, the adviser remained in her West Wing office.
Melania Trump’s office took the extraordinary step of issuing a statement saying that Ricardel should be ousted. While first ladies historically have been known to pressure their husbands over official business, they do not typically issue statements about it.
“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 spokeswoman, said in a terse statement.
She gave no reason for why the first lady wanted Ricardel out but several officials said it was related to Melania’s trip to Africa in October.
The first lady had complained to the president that she was unhappy with how she was treated by Ricardel, a former Boeing executive who worked on the Trump presidential campaign and was picked by national security adviser John Bolton to be his deputy earlier this year, two other sources familiar with the White House intrigue told Reuters.
The sources said that Melania Trump explicitly asked the president to oust Ricardel after their dealings over the Africa trip “didn’t go well.” One source said that Melania Trump felt that Ricardel tried to short-change the first lady when it came to government resources allocated to support her Africa tour.
According to CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, Donald Trump feels like a “bossed around husband” and was backed into a corner bu Melania’s statement, and was blindsided by the news.
A White House official tells CNN that President Trump is “pissed at damn near everyone.”
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) November 14, 2018