A top White House aide has been removed from her post after coming into very open conflict with First Lady Melania Trump.
Trump publicly called for deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel to be dismissed earlier this week. Ricardel was ousted on Wednesday night, though she will not be leaving the Trump administration entirely.
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders released a statement on the decision Wednesday night.
“Mira Ricardel will continue to support the President as she departs the White House to transition to a new role within the Administration,” Sanders said. “The President is grateful for Ms. Ricardel’s continued service to the American people and her steadfast pursuit of his national security priorities.”
The dispute between Trump and Ricardel was caused in part by a flight on the First Lady’s trip to Africa in October, the New York Times reported:
A dust-up between Ms. Ricardel and several East Wing senior staff members before and during the first lady’s trip to Africa last month ended up eliciting Mrs. Trump’s attention, and the conflict led to an internal dispute that festered for weeks.
Among Ms. Ricardel’s offenses, three people familiar with the situation said, was a dispute over airplane seating — she wanted to have a say over who was given seats on the plane to Africa. She grew angry when a seat for a National Security Council staff member on the plane was pulled to accommodate journalists.
According to CNN, Trump also suspected Ricardel of leaking stories about administration officials she disliked to the press.
Ricardel was a top aide to national security adviser John Bolton, and formerly held positions in the George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan administrations. Bolton reportedly opposed her removal.