In Washington, D.C., first lady Melania Trump called for the firing of deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel Tuesday, in a rare move, as she released a statement saying that Ricardel “no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House.” The conflict between Melania Trump and Ricardel reportedly stems from the first lady’s recent trip to Africa, including a disagreement with her staff about seating on the airplane. The highly unusual move by the first lady came as a surprise to President Trump and senior White House staff, according to one source. Another official said that Melania Trump and Ricardel never actually met in person. Ricardel, a key ally to national security adviser John Bolton, has reportedly also clashed repeatedly with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Chief of Staff John Kelly.
This comes as reports from White House sources say Chief of Staff John Kelly may also be on his way out. Kelly reportedly came into conflict with the first lady over staffing issues, including his refusal to promote some of her senior aides.