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White House Aide Targeted by Melania Trump to Depart (Correct)

National Security Adviser John Bolton’s top deputy will leave the White House, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said a day after first lady Melania Trump called for the official’s ouster.

Deputy National Security Adviser 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 in a statement on Wednesday. “The president is grateful for Ms. Ricardel’s continued service to the American people and her steadfast pursuit of his national security priorities.” Sanders didn’t say what Ricardel’s new job would be. Melania Trump issued an unusual public statement demanding that Ricardel leave the White House after clashes between Bolton’s deputy and her staff over a trip the first lady took to Africa last month. Ricardel threatened to withhold National Security Council resources for the trip unless she or another NSC staffer were included in the first lady’s entourage, according to a person familiar with the matter. Asked Tuesday about reports Melania Trump sought Ricardel’s ouster, her spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said: “It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House.” Bolton hired Ricardel in April from the Commerce Department. She previously worked in the Defense Department under President George W. Bush. While Bolton likes her, according to Trump administration officials, Ricardel is widely disliked among other White House staff. She’s regarded as inflexible and obsessed with process, which some officials complain has complicated coordination between the NSC and cabinet agencies. DM

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