The first woman — and second African-American — to hold the chief usher position at the White House has been fired, The Washington Post reported.
According to an anonymous source cited by the Post, the residence staff of the White House were informed that longtime chief usher Angella Reid was no longer employed there when they arrived at work on Friday.
When she joined the staff in 2011 under then-President Barack Obama, Reid replaced the first African-American chief usher, Adm. Stephen W. Rochon, who vacated the job for a position at the Department of Homeland Security.
An unnamed White House official did confirm that Reid was no longer the chief usher, and said, “We are very grateful for her service and wish her the best.”
Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters during a daily briefing Friday that Reid “left on very good terms,” adding, “It is not uncommon you might have a transition of staff when a new administration comes in. It’s nothing more than that.”
In actuality, such a removal of a permanent staffer at the White House is quite rare — there have only been nine chief ushers in the past 116 years.
A chief usher is closely involved with the White House residence and the first family, overseeing staff such as butlers, chefs and florists and attends to financial, admin and décor duties as well.
“If there is a very compelling reason for the dismissal, the White House needs to tell the public, otherwise it can come off as cruel,” said Douglas Brinkley, a history professor at Rice University and presidential historian.
As for Reid herself, she’s keeping mum, and told the Post via phone that she thinks “it’s best if the White House explains.”