Homeland Security secretary expected to leave Trump administration

Leroy Wright
November 14, 2018

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 said, with a spokeswoman for the first lady leaving no doubt about where she stood on the matter.

Melania Trump's beef with Ricardel stems from the first lady's trip to Africa last month when her staff clashed with the adviser over things like plane seating and requests to use National Security Council resources, the Wall Street Journal reported. The first lady's team had told the president that it suspected Ricardel was leaking negative stories about Melania Trump to the press.

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 reports she could be out as soon as this week as five current former and current White House officials claim her departure is to happen within the next few weeks.

The president was reportedly considering replacements for the White House chief of staff, John Kelly, and Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of the department of homeland security.

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

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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But tensions between Mrs Trump and Kelly are also said to have angered the president after his wife complained.

"The secretary is honoured to lead the men and women of DHS and is committed to implementing the President's security-focused agenda to protect Americans from all threats and will continue to do so", said Tyler Houlton, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman, in response to an ABC News report about the possible staff changes.

But General Kelly's future in the administration is also shaky, according to three White House officials.

"Last time I checked we didn't have a royal family, but they sure like to act like it", Carpenter said.

President Donald Trump has made a decision to replace Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in the coming weeks after becoming increasingly frustrated with her performance on immigration enforcement.

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

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