Trump aide departs West Wing after rebuke from first lady

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White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced Wednesday that Ricardel will be leaving her post. A seat was pulled from the National Security Council to accommodate a journalist, which angered the official. One former colleague described her as someone who doesn't "suffer fools" or have a nuanced touch when it comes to navigating the shoals of internal politics.

The White House press office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mrs Trump this week said that Mrs Ricardel "no longer deserves the honour of serving in this White House".

The Washington Post reports they were "partly rooted in a bureaucratic dispute over the seating arrangements aboard first lady Melania Trump's plane to Africa last month".

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Mira Ricardel is the White House deputy national security adviser.

Ricardel was raised in Pasadena, the child of a Croatian immigrant and went on to study at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and then do doctoral work at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. It was not yet clear what her new position would be. She was said to be close with John Bolton, the National Security Advisor.

His position, tenuous for months, has been undermined further by reports that he also clashed with Melania Trump - a relatively backstage first lady who has rarely made her influence so obviously felt as this week.

While Melania Trump's dislike for Kelly remains a rumor, she was fully open in a rare, protocol-busting demand for the firing of Bolton's deputy Ricardel. From a distance, he tried to save Ricardel's job, but Trump opted to transfer her out and try to provide a smooth landing.

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Ricardel has also built a reputation in the White House for berating staff, several sources said.

Bolton had fought behind the scenes to keep Ricardel from being forced out but ultimately lost the battle, two officials said.

"She might end up being more of a hindrance than an asset to her husband", Jellison said.

"I have great respect for her and her role", Pence said.

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As the East Wing prepared the flight manifest for the marquee trip, Ms Ricardel became angry that seats on the government jet were assigned to a larger-than-usual security entourage and a small press corps with none for Ms Ricardel or another NSC staffer, according to current USA officials and others familiar with the trip and its aftermath.

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