Melania Trump calls for firing of top national security aide in extraordinary move

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By Carol E. Lee and Kristen Welker and Hallie Jackson  with NBC News Politics
Mira Ricardel takes part in a meeting at the Pentagon in 2003.
Mira Ricardel takes part in a meeting at the Pentagon in 2003.   -   Copyright  REUTERS

WASHINGTON — In an extraordinary move for a first lady, Melania Trump's office on Tuesday publicly called for the firing of a senior National Security Council official.

Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's communications director issued a statement around 2:30 p.m. saying the official, Mira Ricardel, should no longer serve as the NSC's No. 2.

"It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House," Grisham said.

The unprecedented statement came after NBC News reported that Ricardel has repeatedly angered the East Wing.

Melania Trump conveyed the incidents to President Donald Trump, people familiar with the disagreements said. The confrontations included Ricardel demanding NSC staff have seats on the first lady's plane during her trip to Africa last month, people familiar with the disagreements said.

Ricardel was seen at an official White House event with the president as Grisham's statement was was issued and was shown in a tweet that the president sent out after the event.

National security adviser John Bolton, who hand picked Ricardel as his deputy, was traveling overseas as Tuesday's events unfolded.

Ricardel's position has been tenuous for days, with one White House official telling NBC on Sunday that she was "not long for this world" after a series of clashes with the first lady's office and officials in the West Wing, including chief of staff John Kelly.