‘I’m not happy with him. You think I’m supposed to be happy with him?’…
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Former deep-state operative Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified against the president during the House’s impeachment inquiry, discovered Friday that actions have consequences when he was escorted from the White House on Friday.
His twin brother, Yevgeny, an NSC attorney, was also escorted from the White House Friday, NBC News reported.
There were indications earlier in the day that President Donald Trump, still celebrating his Wednesday acquittal, sought to oust Vindman from his role with the National Security Council.
Vindman had reportedly told officials at the NSC that he would resign by the end of the month, but Trump sought to fire him sooner to make a point, according to the Washington Post.
“Well, I’m not happy with him. You think I’m supposed to be happy with him? I’m not. They’ll make that decision. You’ll be hearing. They’ll make a decision,” Trump said.
Trump, the former host of “The Apprentice” has sought to preempt other prominent departures in the past when it came to disloyal staff members such as former Defense Secretary James Mattis.
Prior to testifying, Vindman assured his father, a Ukrainian immigrant, that he would be safeguarded by whistleblower protections. It was expected that he likely would be able to retain his plum government benefits by being reassigned to the Pentagon.
However, Vindman’s attorney, David Pressman, complained that things had not worked out according to plan, dashing the faith he placed in House Democrats such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Adam Schiff, both of California, to uphold their promises.
“LTC Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth,” Pressman said in a statement. “The truth has cost LTC Alexander Vindman his job, his career and his privacy.”
Pressman claimed that “the most powerful man in the world—buoyed by the silent, the pliable, and the complicit” had “decided to exact revenge” on Vindman.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper was asked what the Pentagon would do to ensure that Vindman faces no retribution when he is reassigned from the White House.
He referred the question to the Army, in terms of Vindman’s next assignment, but on the retribution aspect, he said, “We protect all of our service members from retribution or anything like that. We’ve already addressed that in policy and other means.”
Vindman, who was listening in on Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelenskiy, found it to be an abuse of power worthy of removal, according to his subjective judgment.
However, he had no direct evidence of Trump’s demand on Zelenskiy and claimed to have heard it from someone else. During the Senate impeachment trial, 52 senators disagreed, falling well short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict the president.
Vindman also defended career intelligence officials who testified against the president.
“I never thought I would be sitting here testifying in front of this committee and the American public about my actions,” Vindman claimed.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report).