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Deputy National Security Adviser Leaves Post After Criticism From Melania Trump

Mira Ricardel speaks during a 2017 Senate Banking confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C.

A day after Deputy National Security Adviser Mira Ricardel faced public criticism from the office of the first lady, the White House on Wednesday announced that she will be leaving her post.

Ricardel "departs the White House to transition to a new role within the administration," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Wednesday. Sanders did not specify the aide's new role.

In a highly unusual move on Tuesday, Melania Trump's office called publicly for the ouster of a senior member of her husband's staff earlier this week.

"It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House," the first lady's spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said in a statement Tuesday of Ricardel.

Ricardel reportedly had a series of abrasive run-ins with members of the first lady's staff.

The Washington Post reports they were "partly rooted in a bureaucratic dispute over the seating arrangements aboard first lady Melania Trump's plane to Africa last month."

Ricardel also reportedly locked horns with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, CNN reports.

Her removal comes during broader shakeups in the Trump administration following this month's midterm elections, including the departure of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

As her post as deputy national security adviser, Ricardel was number two to John Bolton and sat in a number of briefings alongside the president.

She previously served as acting assistant secretary for international security policy under former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Ricardel received the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service in 2005.

Ricardel also served as a foreign policy adviser to Republican Sen. Bob Dole when he was majority leader and she worked in the Commerce Department during the first year of the Trump administration.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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