United States President Donald Trump is moving to replace his Deputy National Security Adviser after she feuded with first lady Melania Trump, two sources familiar with the matter say.
We don't have all the details yet, but a Wall Street Journal report suggests that the First Lady's office had had it with Ricardel's behavior. And Pentagon officials have said privately they believe Ricardel had a hand in spreading rumors this year about Mattis falling from favor with the White House and perhaps departing.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is reportedly being forced out of her position soon, sources said in a Washington Post report. Trump demanded to know during the May meeting, later adding, "We need to shut it down".
The dispute made it hard for Ricardel to land in a top post in the Trump administration, though she was ultimately tapped for the position of undersecretary of commerce for export administration.
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Mr Trump cancelled a planned trip with Ms Nielsen this week to visit U.S. troops at the border in south Texas and told aides over the weekend he wants her out as soon as possible, these officials said.
The White House and the National Security Council (NSC) had no immediate comment. But Kelly's future in the administration also is shaky, according to three White House officials.
Nick Ayers, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, is reportedly being considered for Kelly's job.
A source claimed Nielsen - who used to work on disaster management response for the White House under Bush - is referred to as a "Bushie" by Trump. It's possible her departure may lead to his, though he has said he will serve through Trump's re-election contest in 2020.
Kelly has been protective of Nielsen, who he has worked with for many years.
When Nielsen has tried to explain the laws and regulations that prevent the government from drastically curtailing immigration or closing the border with Mexico, as Trump has suggested, the president has grown impatient and frustrated, aides said. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was thought to be on the outs for months before he actually was pushed out.