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Melania Trump's hidden hand just became not so hidden

Melania Trump is, without question, the most enigmatic and least-known first lady in modern memory. She is d...

Posted: Nov 14, 2018 2:04 PM
Updated: Nov 14, 2018 2:04 PM

Melania Trump is, without question, the most enigmatic and least-known first lady in modern memory. She is deeply private, rarely offering even the slightest glimpse into what she thinks about her husband's administration -- or the country as a whole.

All of which is what makes what Melania did -- through her communications director Stephanie Grisham -- on Tuesday sooooooo fascinating.

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"It is the position of the office of the first lady that [deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel] no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House," said Grisham.

And boom goes the dynamite!

Within hours, Ricardel, who had reportedly clashed with the first lady and her staff during a recent trip to Africa, was gone -- off the White House grounds and widely rumored to have been fired. (Sidebar: Really? This is solely about a series of clashes during an Africa trip? I mean, OK. But, odd.)

The removal of Ricardel may well signal the opening gambit in a broader staff shakeup in the White House, with chief of staff John Kelly and Kirstjen Nielsen, the head of the Department of Homeland Security, rumored to also be on their way out amid Trump's unhappiness with their respective performances.

But Ricardel's unceremonious ouster offers surefire proof of one thing: Cross Melania Trump and you are going to get got.

Donald Trump doesn't a) listen to almost anyone or b) care what almost anyone thinks. But it's been made pretty clear over his first two-ish years in office that his wife is someone he listens to -- or, at the very least, is invested in trying to keep happy. And when Melania isn't happy, things happen. And they happen quickly.

The Point: It's exceedingly rare that we are given a window into Melania Trump's thinking -- and how she exerts her influence on her husband to make things happen in the White House. Today was one of those unique moments.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 26980

Reported Deaths: 1159
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin9099657
Ramsey3351149
Stearns205614
Nobles15775
Anoka152779
Dakota144664
Washington70035
Olmsted68911
Rice5243
Kandiyohi5141
Scott4712
Clay44930
Mower4462
Wright3492
Todd3441
Sherburne2492
Carver2402
Benton1853
Steele1700
Freeborn1590
Blue Earth1490
Martin1355
St. Louis11914
Lyon1012
Unassigned9611
Pine930
Nicollet8811
Cottonwood820
Winona8115
Crow Wing815
Watonwan790
Carlton750
Goodhue736
Otter Tail731
Chisago691
Polk632
Itasca5610
Dodge540
Chippewa521
Morrison480
Le Sueur471
Douglas460
Meeker460
Becker440
Jackson420
Murray410
McLeod410
Isanti360
Pennington300
Waseca290
Mille Lacs241
Rock230
Faribault220
Wabasha200
Swift191
Beltrami180
Sibley170
Brown172
Fillmore171
Norman150
Pipestone130
Kanabec121
Aitkin120
Marshall120
Cass112
Big Stone110
Wilkin113
Wadena100
Pope100
Koochiching90
Redwood70
Yellow Medicine70
Renville70
Mahnomen61
Lincoln60
Red Lake40
Traverse40
Grant40
Clearwater30
Houston30
Hubbard30
Lac qui Parle30
Roseau30
Stevens10
Lake10
Kittson10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 21114

Reported Deaths: 593
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk4614140
Woodbury286137
Black Hawk178849
Buena Vista10672
Linn97879
Dallas95226
Marshall91418
Wapello63615
Johnson6198
Muscatine56741
Crawford5512
Tama41129
Scott38510
Dubuque35921
Louisa35011
Pottawattamie31910
Sioux3060
Jasper26917
Wright2210
Washington1968
Warren1671
Plymouth1522
Story1311
Allamakee1204
Mahaska9913
Poweshiek928
Hamilton760
Webster741
Henry732
Boone720
Bremer716
Clarke690
Des Moines681
Taylor660
Clinton651
Guthrie553
Cedar501
Benton431
Cherokee410
Monroe415
Jones370
Shelby370
Osceola360
Jefferson360
Marion350
Dickinson350
Buchanan341
Iowa340
Clayton343
Cerro Gordo331
Madison292
Lee290
Sac280
Davis280
Emmet270
Fayette270
Clay270
Monona260
Harrison260
Hardin240
Lyon240
Winneshiek240
Lucas222
Mills200
Grundy200
Franklin200
Humboldt201
Pocahontas200
Delaware191
Floyd191
Hancock180
Appanoose173
Butler161
Kossuth160
Carroll151
Ida150
Greene150
Keokuk140
Jackson140
Page140
Audubon131
Cass130
Chickasaw130
Howard120
Winnebago110
Calhoun100
Union100
Van Buren90
Adair90
Montgomery92
Adams70
Palo Alto70
Ringgold40
Fremont40
Mitchell40
Worth30
Unassigned20
Wayne10
Decatur10
Rochester
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