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First lady beef: Melania Trump claws at Michelle Obama

First lady beef: Melania Trump claws at Michelle Obama

As the president apparently made up his mind to fire deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel-who reportedly argued with the first lady-Melania Trump's office issued a statement pushing for the ouster in a rare move Tuesday.

She gave no reason for why the first lady wanted Ricardel out but several officials said it was related to Mrs. Trump's trip to Africa in October.

"Mrs. Trump is a strong and independent woman who has been navigating her role as first lady in her own way", Grisham said. A senior administration official told CBS News' Fin Gomez that there has been a first lady staff-led fight against Ricardel, particularly on her trip to Africa over seating and utilizing National Security Council resources.

A retired Marine Corps general, he has often been nicknamed "the adult in the room" during Trump's drama-prone administration, even if critics say he has done little to temper the president's most damaging outbursts.

Ricardel's position has been tenuous for days, with one White House official telling NBC on Sunday that she was "not long for this world" after a series of clashes with the first lady's office and officials in the West Wing, including chief of staff John Kelly.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

Liverpool receive timely boost ahead of Red Star Belgrade encounter
The humiliating defeat to the Champions League minnows leaves Liverpool's hopes of progressing to the knockout stages in tatters. Milan Pavkov scored twice in seven first-half minutes to hand Red Star their first Champions League victory in 26 years.

Her departure would leave national security adviser John Bolton without one of his key allies in the administration, a deputy who has also shared his penchant for bureaucratic infighting. The Washington Post, citing three current and two former White House officials, reported that Ricardel had berated people in meetings and spread rumors about Mattis.

Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's communications director issued a statement around 2:30 p.m. saying the official, Mira Ricardel, should no longer serve as the NSC's No. 2.

Melania Trump reportedly has the same irritation and lack of patience toward some other White House staffers, as does the president.

Reflecting the fast-moving nature of the events, soon after a Wall Street Journal report surfaced Tuesday afternoon alleging Ricardel was sacked and escorted off the White House grounds, a senior White House official denied the story to reporters.

A spokesman for the National Security Council had no immediate comment. Later she went on to do doctoral work at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. And Pentagon officials have said privately they believe Ricardel had a hand in spreading rumours this year about Mattis falling from favour with the White House and perhaps departing.

Obama said Former First Lady Laura Bush had extended the same offer to her in 2008 when she was the incoming first lady, but didn't say whether she had sought advice from Bush once she was in office.

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