Trump Admin 'Weighing Plan' to Remove Vindman from NSC After Impeachment Role
Lt. Col Alexander Vindman likely to be dismissed after anti-Trump remarks during inquiry
President Donald Trump's administration is "weighing a plan" to dismiss Lt. Col Alexander Vindman following his remarks during testimony in the House impeachment inquiry, according to reports.
Bloomberg News reporter Jennifer Jacobs reported that the White House is considering options to remove Vindman from the National Security Council.
“White House is weighing [a] plan to dismiss Alexander Vindman from National Security Council after he testified in impeachment inquiry, a move that will be part of a broader effort to shrink Trump admin foreign policy bureaucracy, sources tell me,” Jacobs posted on Twitter late Thursday night.
BREAKING: White House is weighing plan to dismiss Alexander Vindman from National Security Council after he testified in impeachment inquiry, a move that will be part of a broader effort to shrink Trump admin foreign policy bureaucracy, sources tell me & @nwadhams. Story out soon— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) February 7, 2020
“The White House intends to portray any house-cleaning as part of a downsizing of the NSC staff, not retaliation,” Jacobs detailed in a Bloomberg News report.
“Senior officials were informed on Thursday that some staff 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,” Jacobs continued.
“The plan to remove Vindman suggests that the White House is feeling emboldened to retaliate against those Trump blames for making him the third U.S. president to be impeached by the House.
“Vindman has not been told of any change in his status, according to a person close to his legal team, and plans to show up for work until told otherwise.
"His twin, Yevgeny Vindman, also remains at the NSC and is not aware of any change in his status, that person added.”
During the impeachment hearings, Senior NSC official Timothy Morrison, who was the former boss of Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman, testified that Vindman’s bosses had numerous concerns and problems with him.
GOP counsel Steve Castor asked, “You had indicated in your deposition that when you took over the [Ukraine] portfolio for Dr. Hill July 15 that you were alerted to potential issues in Colonel Vindman’s judgement?”
“Yes,” Morrison responded.
“Did she relay anything specifically to you why she thought that?” Castor asked.
Morrison responded that the concern apparently came from multiple officials and was an overall general concern about his judgment.
“Did any other NSC personnel raise concerns with you about Colonel Vindman?” Castor asked.
“Yes,” Morrison responded.
Top official Tim Morrison said Alexander Vindman's bosses had a lot of concerns about him:— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) November 19, 2019
-Did not keep his bosses in the loop on what he was doing
-Went around his bosses' backs
-Was mad he was cut out of working on Ukraine pic.twitter.com/Z9qgSVs9dt
Morrison later confirmed that multiple other officials were concerned that Vindman was potentially leaking sensitive information to the media.
Morrison also confirmed that Vindman did not keep him in the loop about all the things that he was doing in the job and that Vindman went behind his back and did not inform him about the concerns that he had about President Donald Trump’s July 25 phone call with the president of Ukraine.
“If he had concerns about something about the content of the call, that’s something that I expected that I would have been notified of,” Morrison said.
“I also think as a matter of practice, since we both went to the lawyers, we didn’t both need to.”
“At any point subsequently, did [Vindman] become frustrated that he felt cut out of some of the Ukraine portfolio?” Castor asked.
“Yes,” Morrison responded, adding that Vindman was upset that he was not invited on a trip to Ukraine.
Elsewhere during his testimony, as Neon Nettle previously reported, Vindman admitted that he fabricated details from the president's phone call with Ukraine's leader during an official summary of the conversation.
During his summary of the call, Vindman included details about a discussion between the two leaders regarding an agreement to "root out corruption" in Ukraine, but that conversation never took place.
Prior to the call, Vindman included the fabricated details in the talking points provided to the president but now admits that Trump did not use them in the call.