Donald Trump crowed at one point that the White House on his watch was, “a finely tuned machine.” Yeah, and so’s a nuclear reactor until you pull the rods out too far. Mira Ricardel, deputy to National Security Adviser John Bolton, evidently got into a cat fight with Melania, over “seating on Air Force one,” if you can believe it, and the allocation of National Security Council resources on her trip to Africa — the same trip where she ran up a bill for $95K one day for a hotel room and never even stayed there. Evidently, when John Kelly and Bolton had their recent set to in the hallway outside the Oval Office, where Kelly purportedly grabbed Bolton by the collar, they were discussing Ricardel. Kelly couldn’t get the job done for Melania, so she went straight to Donald on the French trip and bye bye Mira. The conflicts at this White House are overlapping and labyrinthine, with tempers running hot and everybody at each others’ throats. Wall Street Journal:
“This is how the president works,” one White House official said. “He’s doused a bunch of people in gasoline and he’s waiting for someone to light a match.”
Bear in mind, that since the inception of this administration it’s been leakier than a bar drain with the beer spigot left on — and everybody has a theory as to who the leaker(s) is, Bolton’s deputy being the current blamee.
The first lady’s team told the president that they suspect Ms. Ricardel is behind some negative stories about Mrs. Trump and her staff.
The first lady’s office issued a statement on Tuesday calling for Ms. Ricardel to be dismissed. “It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House,” said Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for Mrs. Trump.
The “honor” of indulging Melania’s every whim, perhaps. Kelly didn’t like Ricardel either, nor did Mattis.
Ms. Ricardel also repeatedly clashed with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and his Pentagon team over staffing decisions and policy differences, according to people familiar with the feud. That discord has created a chill in relations between Ms. Ricardel and Defense Department officials wary of her intentions, these people say. […]
Mr. Kelly has been looking for ways to force Ms. Ricardel out for weeks. Two weeks ago, Mr. Kelly cited Mrs. Trump’s concerns as he pushed Mr. Bolton to replace her, but Mr. Bolton resisted, officials said.
And that’s when Kelly went for Bolton’s throat, literally, while they screamed profanities at one another, because whatever Kelly said about Ricardel, Bolton said about Nielsen — just speculating.
Mr. Bolton, meanwhile, has been among those pushing for Ms. Nielsen’s ouster, officials said. The Washington Post reported Mr. Trump’s decision to remove Ms. Nielsen on Monday.
Now here’s where it gets good.
Among the sources of tension for Mr. Bolton and Ms. Nielsen stemmed from a plan she raised to deal with the migrant caravan heading to the U.S.-Mexico border. Ms. Nielsen raised the possibility of asking the United Nations refugee agency to set up camps on the Mexico side of the U.S.-Mexico border to house the migrants, according to people familiar with the talks.
Mr. Bolton pointedly dismissed the idea as unworkable and misguided, a response that irked Ms. Nielsen and triggered a forceful defense from Mr. Kelly, these people said. Mr. Kelly asked Mr. Bolton what he thought would be a better approach, and Mr. Bolton said he would discuss it directly with the president, one of these people said.
In a meeting in the Oval Office, Mr. Trump further aggravated Mr. Kelly by suggesting that Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and top adviser, use his contacts in the Mexican government, such as his close relationship with Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, to try to resolve the caravan issue. “Let’s get Jared involved; he’s our best guy on this,” the president said.
Well, you can guess what Kelly thought about putting Jared in charge of Homeland Security, in essence. And you can also guess what Jarvanka said when they realized that Jared had been spurned. They’ve always had it in for Kelly and they want Nick Ayers, Pence’s chief of staff, to replace him, please Daddy.
Some White House officials believed that Mr. Trump would make the switch to Mr. Ayers on his return from Paris on Sunday. The move is backed by two key advisers, Mr. Kushner and Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and senior adviser who is also married to Mr. Kushner.
Wifey’s firing people, Jarvanka’s trying to fire more people (it’s general consensus that they hatcheted both Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus, back in the day) Jarvanka hates the Chief of Staff, who can’t stand the NSA, and his deputy can’t stand the Secretary of Defense, plus the NSA thinks the head of Homeland Security doesn’t know what she’s doing, and the *resident thinks his son-in-law is the answer to everything.
Palace intrigue, Trump style. And it should get reeeeally good, when the next set of indictments comes down the pike from Robert Mueller’s office. You think your head’s spinning now.
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The headline has been corrected to Ricardel being fired, not fired and escorted out. CNN says she was given “time to clear out her desk” and WSJ just corrected their error — and their my source.
Errata: “their” should be “they’re”
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