National Security Official Forced Out of White House After Clash With Melania

Retired United States Marine Corps general and White House Chief of Staff John F Kelly visits the Aisne Marne American Cemetery and Memorial in Belleau

NBC Claims John Kelly Could Depart Trump WH After Clashes with FLOTUS GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT AFP Getty Images 13 Nov 2018

She fell foul of Melania Trump and her staff in negotiations over the First Lady's trip to Africa in October and the use of government resources for it, a senior administration official said.

Mrs. Trump felt she had treated her staff disrespectfully, White House sources said, and Ricardel was seen as so hard during the planning of the trip, according to sources, that the first lady's team sought Kelly's guidance.

"I will be making changes on various things", Trump told the Daily Caller, a conservative news website.

The most important name on the list of those expected to leave is chief of staff, John Kelly.

"It is not news or surprising to me that critics and the media have chosen to ridicule me for speaking out on this issue, and that's OK", Trump said Thursday at a Family Online Safety Institute conference.

Ricardel reports to National Security Advisor John Bolton. Past first ladies have been rumored to hassle with their husbands over the business of the White House. Kelly and Fuentes believed Ricardel was leaking negative stories about them to the press, those sources said. It was not yet clear what her new position would be.

Politico reported Ricardel also clashed with Defense Secretary James Mattis while serving on the agency's transition team after Trump's election as well as officials at the Department of Homeland Security, according to an administration official.

Reports about Melania Trump's multiple ongoing intra-administration feuds comes days after Grisham, her spokesperson, released a statement that could be read as a subtle rebuke to former first lady Michelle Obama.

Mrs. Trump's office said Wednesday that she gets along well with the embattled Mr. Kelly. This step by the first lady was totally unprecedented.

Bolton brought Ricardel on board in May to serve as his No. 2 on the National Security Council. It was also said Ricardel was often verbally abusive to staff at the White House.

"She and the chief have a very positive working relationship", Stephanie Grisham, communications director for the first lady, told The Washington Times in an email.

What do you make of Melania Trump's prickly retort to Michelle Obama's offer to counsel her?

McBride, executive in residence with the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University, said most White House employees know - or should know - the power and authority of first ladies.

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