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AP

The White House fired its chief usher, Angella Reid, the first woman and second African American to hold the position, the WashPost's Ashley Parker and Krissah Thompson scooped: "Reached by phone, Reid declined to comment, saying only, "I think it's best if the White House explains.'"

Scoop: Here's Paul Harvey's "The Rest of the Story," from our inside sources:

  • Reid was great with President Trump and the First Lady, but was considered mean by nearly everyone else (White House and household staff).
  • The workers — who are proud of where they serve and are not paid a lot — did not feel respected. Morale was low. People were in tears on a few occasions.
  • When her departure was announced to the residence staff yesterday morning, workers burst into applause.
  • Reid had been fired the night before and allowed to clean out her belongings when the staff was gone. She received a generous severance package, and the White House will give a glowing recommendation to anyone who asks.

Reid oversaw the residence and events "at the 132-room mansion and its staff of over 90 plumbers, electricians, butlers, cooks and others," AP's Darlene Superville explained.

Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (who got strong reviews for her on-camera debut as fill-in White House briefer, while Sean Spicer was on Navy Reserve duty) confirmed the departure but wouldn't say why.

History note ... "Backstairs at the White House" was the title of a weekend column by the late Helen Thomas, when she — and UPI — were big deals.

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Go deeper

McCarthy jokes about hitting Pelosi with gavel if he becomes Speaker, in new audio

Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) can be heard saying "it would be hard not to hit" House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with the speaker's gavel if Republicans retake the House in 2022 and he becomes speaker, according to new audio posted to Twitter by a Main Street Nashville reporter.

Driving the news: McCarthy made the comments during a fundraising event in Tennessee, as he was handed an oversized gavel by members of the Tennessee congressional delegation, reports CNN.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

U.S. and U.K. blame Iran for drone strike on oil tanker

Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. Photo: Sameer Al-DOUMY / AFP

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Sunday that the United States and United Kingdom, respectively, now believe Iran was likely responsible for last week's drone strike on an oil tanker in the Arabian sea.

Why it matters: The United States and Britain now join Israel in accusing Tehran of being behind the July 29 attack off the coast of Oman. Iran has denied involvement.

8 hours ago - Sports

Suni Lee wins bronze medal in uneven bars

Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

U.S. gymnast Sunisa "Suni" Lee won her 3rd Olympic medal on Sunday, taking home bronze in the individual uneven bars event.

Driving the news: Also on Sunday, U.S. gymnast MyKayla Skinner won the silver medal in the vault on Sunday after stepping in for Simone Biles, who withdrew from the event to prioritize her mental health and well-being.