President Trump insisted Thursday that the White House is “running very smoothly,” seeking to play down media reports about infighting a day after a senior national security official was reassigned following a clash with his wife’s staff.
Trump’s pushback, in a morning tweet in which he called the media “crazy,” came as he was also considering other changes, including possibly ousting Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and firing Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
“The White House is running very smoothly and the results for our Nation are obviously very good,” Trump wrote. “We are the envy of the world. But anytime I even think about making changes, the FAKE NEWS MEDIA goes crazy, always seeking to make us look as bad as possible! Very dishonest!”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced Wednesday night that deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel was leaving the White House and moving to a new, unspecified position in the Trump administration.
That announcement came a day after first lady Melania Trump’s office issued a remarkable statement saying of Ricardel: “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 Washington Post reported Wednesday night that the bad blood between the first lady’s staff and Ricardel was rooted in a bureaucratic dispute over the seating arrangements aboard Melania Trump’s plane to Africa last month during her maiden solo trip abroad. As tensions mounted afterward, national security adviser John Bolton rebuffed the first lady and protected his deputy.