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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

Nathan Bomey, author of Closer
40 mins ago - Economy & Business

Tesla delays Cybertruck until 2023

Tesla debuts the Cybertruck in Hawthorne, Calif., on Nov. 21, 2019. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Tesla is at risk of falling behind on one of the most critical products in the American auto industry: pickups.

Why it matters: Pickups are the most profitable segment in the business and account for the first, second and third best-selling vehicles in the country. Without a serious pickup strategy, Tesla could miss out on a huge source of future income.

Defense taking steps to mitigate civilian harm after botched airstrikes

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia on Sept. 1, 2021. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a directive Thursday to improve the U.S. military's approach to civilian harm mitigation and response, calling it a "strategic and a moral imperative."

Why it matters: The Pentagon has faced criticism for years for amassing civilian casualties in its missions, especially in the Middle East. New York Times investigations have found systemic failures in efforts to prevent civilian deaths, as well as a cover-up of a 2019 airstrike that killed dozens of women and children in Syria.

3 hours ago - World

Mapped: The world's most and least corrupt countries

Expand chart
Data: Transparency International; Map: Jared Whalen/Axios

The most corrupt governments in the world are in South Sudan, Syria and Somalia, according to Transparency International's annual index, while the "cleanest" are in Denmark, Finland and New Zealand.

  • Breaking it down: The U.S. is 27th, China 66th, India 85th, Brazil 96th and Russia 136th. Scroll over the map to see each country's ranking.