Top Trump: Melania has emerged from the shadows and now holds 'unprecedented power' in the White House
After initial reservations about moving into the White House and keeping a low profile even after moving, Melania seems to have come into her own now
First Lady Melania Trump appears to be emerging as the top Trump in the White House as she recently — in an unprecedented move — had the deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel dismissed from her position in the Donald Trump administration over a few disagreements.
Even though the first lady had seemed hesitant to shift to the White House after Trump took office last year, and had kept a largely low profile even after moving, she seems to have found her footing now.
Melania is making her voice heard as she recently gave her first televised interview and made headlines claiming she was the "most bullied" person in the world.
Melania's spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, on last Tuesday confirmed that the first lady was not pleased with Ricardel in the White House and wanted her out.
"It is the position of the office of the first lady that she [Ms Ricardel] no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House," Graham said in a statement.
Within hours of Grisham's statement, Ricardel was removed from the premises with officials saying that the 58-year-old was "in transition" to a role outside the White House. Reports state that the first lady had clashed with Ricardel during her trip to Africa last month. Melania's first major trip without the president got off to a rocky start when she and Ricardel had a disagreement over seating arrangements on the plane.
Ricardel was left upset after the seats she had requested for herself and another National Security Council member were given to journalists. According to the Sunday Times, Ricardel, in response, threatened to "withhold resources for the trip." Reports also state that Ricardel was already on the first lady's hit list as Melania suspected her of leaking stories from inside the White House to the media.
Kate Andersen Brower, the author of 'First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies', in a recent statement, commented on the first lady's power move in the White House, and said: "It is unprecedented to have a first lady come out publicly in this way. Usually, it’s called pillow talk for a reason. I think Melania’s always been really powerful but we’re just seeing more of her assertiveness now. Like everything in this White House, she is breaking with precedent.”
But this is not the first time that Melania has shown that she holds considerable clout in the White House. According to the New York Times, Melania's trip to Africa — her first major solo international trip — left Ivanka Trump peeved. Reason: the first daughter had been planning a trip to the continent long before Melania announced hers.
Ivanka, according to the NYT report, was invited on a trip to Africa by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham months ago. However, she was shocked when Melania's trip to Africa was given priority before hers, especially because Melania has been focused on more traditional duties of the first lady.
But Melania has slowly debuted her own social issues initiative: "Be Best," which aims to help children affected by bullying and well-being, social media abuse as well as opioid addiction prevention, and has emerged from the shadows to become this powerful and assestive first lady, a far cry from the quiet and reticent public image from the early days of the Trump administration.