FLOTUS’ RAGE: Melania Trump publicly calls for White House aide’s firing

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an extraordinary move, Melania Trump called publicly Tuesday for the dismissal of a top White House National Security Council aide.

After reports circulated Tuesday that President Donald Trump had decided to remove Mira Ricardel from her post as deputy national security adviser, Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s spokeswoman, released a statement that said: “It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House.” Grisham offered no explanation.

Shortly before the statement came out, 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 Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the first lady’s staff and Ricardel had clashed during Mrs. Trump’s visit to Africa in October over such things as seating on the airplane and requests to use the council’s resources.

A spokesman for the National Security Council had no immediate comment.

Mrs. Trump is very protective of her husband and is considered to be an influential adviser, as many first ladies have been with their spouses.

Mrs. Trump is also one of the most private first ladies in recent memory, which made the public announcement about her displeasure with a top West Wing official all the more surprising.

In an interview with ABC News during her five-day trip to Ghana, Mali, Kenya and Egypt last month, the first lady said there are people in the White House whom she and the president cannot trust. She declined to name anyone but said she had let the president know who they are.

“Well,” she said, “some people, they don’t work there anymore.”

Asked if some untrustworthy people still worked in the White House, she replied, “Yes.”

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Darlene Superville of the Associated Press contributed to the contents of this report.

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‘FAKE NEWS’: Trump slams mainstream media over ‘vicious’ and ‘unfair’ Melania coverage; Denies abusing First Lady

Washington, D.C. (The Hill) — President Trump on Wednesday lashed out at recent media coverage of first lady Melania Trump, calling speculation surrounding her whereabouts in the weeks following a kidney surgery “unfair” and “vicious.”

“The Fake News Media has been so unfair, and vicious, to my wife and our great First Lady, Melania,” Trump tweeted.

“During her recovery from surgery they reported everything from near death, to facelift, to left the W.H. (and me) for N.Y. or Virginia, to abuse. All Fake, she is doing really well!”

Trump claimed in another tweet that “four reporters spotted Melania in the White House last week walking merrily along to a meeting” but “they never reported the sighting because it would hurt the sick narrative that she was living in a different part of the world, was really ill, or whatever.”

“Fake News is really bad!” he added.

CNBC reporter Eamon Javers had tweeted on May 30 that he had seen the first lady “walking with her aides in the West Wing” the day prior.

“Not that this will deter the conspiracy theorists, but I saw the First Lady walking with her aides in the West Wing yesterday afternoon,” Javers wrote.

Melania Trump attended a ceremony for Gold Star families on Monday that was closed to the press. It was slated to be her first public appearance since she underwent surgery at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., on May 14.

The first lady is slated to appear at a Federal Emergency Management Agency event Wednesday afternoon with the president.

Speculation surrounding the Trump’s whereabouts in the weeks after her surgery has been the subject of several tweets and discussions on cable news.

One Rolling Stone writer speculated that she was “concealing abuse,” and The Atlantic’s David Frum posed a hypothetical about President Trump having “punched the First Lady in the White House.”

“I wish that I didn’t suspect that the prolonged, poorly explained public absence of Melania Trump could be about concealing abuse. I wish that it was a ludicrous prospect. I wish that the @POTUS wasn’t a man with a history of abusing women, including those to whom he is married,” Stone reporter Jamil Smith wrote on Twitter.

“Suppose President Trump punched the First Lady in the White House (federal property = federal jurisdiction), then ordered the Secret Service to conceal the assault. POTUS has Article II authority over Secret Service. Is that obstruction? Under Sekulow/Dowd, apparently NO,” David Frum, senior editor of The Atlantic tweeted in response.

CNN also discussed Melania Trump’s whereabouts on its weekly media affairs program “Reliable Sources,” which included a graphic with a calendar of the number of days the first lady was absent.

If any First Lady “disappeared,” you’d “want to know where she is,” tweeted Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources”.

Calls to the White House for comment were not immediately returned.

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FLOTUS UPDATE: First Lady to leave hospital in ‘2 or 3 days’

Washington, D.C. — President Donald Trump on Tuesday tweeted an update on Melania Trump’s health, indicating that the First Lady should be released from hospital care within the next few days.

“Our great First Lady is doing really well. Will be leaving hospital in 2 or 3 days. Thank you for so much love and support!” the president wrote.

Mrs.Trump’s communications director Stephanie Grisham disclosed on Monday that “First Lady Melania Trump underwent an embolization procedure to treat a benign kidney condition.”

“The procedure was successful and there were no complications,” Grisham said in a written statement. “Mrs. Trump is at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and will likely remain there for the duration of the week. The First Lady looks forward to a full recovery so she can continue her work on behalf of children everywhere.”

The president reportedly spent a great deal of time visiting with the First Lady at Walter Reed Medical Center Monday evening.

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