Published: Wed, November 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Trump Fires Top National Security Official Immediately Upon First Lady’s Demand

Trump Fires Top National Security Official Immediately Upon First Lady’s Demand

US President Donald Trump has told advisers he has chose to remove Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and her departure from the administration is likely to occur in the coming weeks, if not sooner, according to five current and former White House officials.

Shortly before the statement was issued, Ricardel was among a group of administration officials and other individuals who stood behind President Trump at a White House ceremony celebrating Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.

The first lady complained to the president that she was unhappy with how she was being treated by Mira Ricardel, a former Boeing Coexecutive who worked on the Trump presidential campaign and was picked by National Security Adviser John Bolton to be his deputy earlier this year, two sources told Reuters.

Per CNN, a White House official further accused Ricardel of lying about the conflict with the first lady, and of leaking false stories about the first lady following the Africa trip.

And before her spat with the East Wing, Ricardel butted heads repeatedly with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, a rivalry that was well-known within the Trump administration. The Washington Post is reporting that one the Presidents first moves will be removing Kirstjen Nielsen as Homeland Security Secretary.

On Wednesday, Trump told reporters that "as we make changes, we'll sit down and talk to you about it".

According to the Washington Post, Trump wants Nielsen out of her position as soon as possible.

When asked specifically about Kelly, Trump said that "for the most part, I'm very, very happy with this Cabinet".

New California fire forces shutdown of motorway
PG&E said in a statement it will cooperate with any investigations stemming from the massive wildfires in Northern California. A smaller blaze in Southern California, the Hill Fire, was 75 percent contained and had burned 4,531 acres , officials said.

The first lady took the issue to the president as they traveled to France over the weekend, and on Tuesday firmly called for Ricardel to lose her job.

Mr Trump has changed his mind on key personnel decisions before and Chief of Staff John Kelly is fighting Ms Nielsen's pending dismissal and attempting to postpone it, aides say. A DHS spokesman would not comment on whether she was leaving.

Senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway attempted to cast doubt Tuesday on the anonymously sourced reports about a staff shake-up.

Nick Ayers, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, is reportedly being considered for Kelly's job.

Nielsen had previously been Kelly's deputy, and kicking her to the curb could be a way for Trump to rid himself of Kelly too.

But it was immigration enforcement that became one of Trump's biggest frustrations, and the president has blamed her for a rebound this year in the number of people arrested along the Mexico border.

At least 18 of those were publicly fired, including the most recent firing of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

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