Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman may be on his way out from his National Security Council post.
The key witness for Democrats in the House impeachment hearings last year is reportedly being considered for reassignment by the White House, Bloomberg reported.
Vindman, who testified in President Donald Trump’s impeachment hearings and some suspected of being the individual who leaked information on the president’s phone call with Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky, was hailed by Democrats as a “patriot” for expressing his concerns about Trump’s actions.
The administration is now reportedly weighing options in Vindman’s future, presenting his potential reassignment as part of the effort to downsize the foreign policy bureaucracy and not because of any retaliation against the decorated Army lieutenant colonel, sources told the outlet.
According to Bloomberg:
Some of the officials being targeted for removal from the NSC would be reassigned because they’re perceived as being disloyal to the president, three people familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity owing to the sensitivity of personnel moves.
Senior staff were informed on Thursday that some aides would be leaving the White House, the people added. The moves have been in the works since at least last week and could come as soon as Friday.
News of Vindman’s potential move naturally sparked reactions from liberals who suggested it came as revenge by the president following his impeachment experience, with Bloomberg characterizing it as Trump “taking aim at lower-level officials in non-partisan positions.” The fact that Vindman was not actually being fired seemed lost on Trump’s critics who used the “fake news” as more reasons to trash the president.
Case in point:
All public servants of integrity at are risk with a vindictive president, enabling cabinet, and complicit Senate. I hope they will do their duty anyway. Thanks for doing yours, Lt. Col. Vindman. https://t.co/O9Vnkcf7kH
— Barb McQuade (@BarbMcQuade) February 7, 2020
Colonel Vindman, a true patriot and American hero, bravely stood up for us against a tyrant. It’s time we return the favor. https://t.co/w4jYnk3MC9
— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) February 7, 2020
Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters in November that Vindman “shouldn’t have any fear of retaliation” and his time at the NSC was drawing to a close in a few months anyway.
Vindman was assigned to his NSC post in 2018 and expected to serve out until July of this year, but he has apparently been telling colleagues that he expected to be leaving sooner and get back to the Defense Department, according to CNN.
A State Department employee assigned to Vice President Mike Pence’s staff ended her rotation early and left her post this week. Jennifer Williams, who testified on the same day as Vindman last year, will be moving on to the United States Central Command.
While the left celebrated Vindman’s courage, others slammed him and even called for his court-martial for testifying against the president after he said he felt a responsibility to come forward.
The top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council and decorated veteran of the Iraq War also has a twin brother in the administration, Yevgeny Vindman, an Army lieutenant colonel and a National Security Council ethics lawyer.
Vindman’s twin brother in charge of reviewing NSC publications, but not on team for Bolton book, sources say https://t.co/nhPyRLi2ch
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) January 27, 2020
Trump unloaded Thursday in his first official speech following his impeachment acquittal, taking aim at the Democrats, nailing the Russia investigation as “bulls—t” and targeting a long list of critics who have relentlessly pursued his removal from office.
Twitter users reacted quickly to the reports of Vindman’s looming job change.
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) February 7, 2020
Good and necessary action.
➡️ Testimony before Congress indicated that Vindman may have leaked information from his post.
➡️ Vindman violated his chain of command in passing along his faulty concern over the 7/25 phone call.
That’s MORE than enough to take this precaution. https://t.co/8Gv3Btd8Fg
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) February 7, 2020
I’d fire him. I listened to his testimony in the SCIF. He’s a leaker, not a whistleblower. Vindman was upset that @realDonaldTrump didn’t follow the script Vindman prepared for the phone call. Current Commander in Chief doesn’t take orders from a Lt. Col.!https://t.co/a9KYrfiVFN
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) February 7, 2020
@realDonaldTrump isn’t being vindictive by having #AlexanderVindman reassigned. Vindman brought this upon himself when he decided to be dishonest and disloyal. A military officer’s oath is non-negotiable. You’re either honest and loyal, or you are not. Vindman is not. pic.twitter.com/cIV0EoKfEq
— KateKoch (@Kate_E_Koch) February 7, 2020
@POTUS #Trump should have fired Lt Col Alexander Vindman months ago. Vidman bypassed his chain of command. Vidman admitted #Trump did nothing illegal. If Lt Col Alexander Vindman didn’t like @realDonaldTrump‘s policies, He could have RESIGNED his Commission or requested Transfer. https://t.co/oQUMMtdpaO
— Judge Dregs (@osPatriot) February 7, 2020
The President needs advisers he can trust as National Security Advisers. Vindman is not someone I would trust. Vindman has his own agenda.
— Jim Smith (@JCyrilSmith) February 7, 2020
So before the media freaks out about this being some kind of retaliation, a complete restructure and slimming of the National Security Council has been in the works for months, before the impeachment inquiry started https://t.co/TA4xNe0NfY
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) February 7, 2020
Too late, the ‘freak out’ was already well underway.
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