The Trump administration has fired National Security Council member and Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman in a post-impeachment effort to reform the panel and to rid the White House of those thought to be undermining the administration.
Vindman appeared as a witness for Democrats during the House’s impeachment inquiry last fall. Reports had surfaced that President Trump was displeased with the appearance and would seek to shake up the NSC after he was acquitted this week.
“Today, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was escorted out of the White House where he has dutifully served his country and his President. He does so having spoken publicly once, and only pursuant to a subpoena from the United States Congress,” Vindman’s lawyer, David Pressman, confirmed in a statement.
“There is no question in the mind of any American why this man’s job is over, why this country now has one less soldier serving it at the White House. [He] was asked to leave for telling the truth. His honor, his commitment to right, frightened the powerful,” the lawyer added.
“LTC Alexander Vindman leaves the White House today. But we must not accept the departure of truth, duty, and loyalty that he represents. In this country right matters, and so does truth,” he concluded.
CNN reported that Vindman’s twin brother, Yevgeny, a lawyer on the NSC, was also fired and escorted off the property.
Bloomberg News reported Thursday evening that Vindman’s removal was likely as part of a plan to cut down the Trump administration’s foreign policy bureaucracy.
Earlier Friday, when asked by reporters whether Vindman was set to be removed, President Trump replied: “I’m not happy with him. You think I’m supposed to be happy with him?… They’re going to be making that decision.”