Trump Is Preparing To Push Out Lt. Col. Vindman Over Impeachment Testimony
Now that his impeachment trial is over, President Donald Trump is moving on to punish those he believe have wronged him, and according to The Washington Post, a national security official who testified at the impeachment inquiry is his first target.
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman is likely to be told as early as Friday that he will be reassigned to the Defense Department, The Post reported, thereby removing a key impeachment figure from the White House.
Vindman reportedly told senior officials previously that he intended to exit his assignment early, with plans to be out by the end of the month, but the president “is eager to make a symbol of the Army officer.”
Trump made clear that he is not through with those who participated in his impeachment, attacking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats during the National Prayer Breakfast and again at a White House press conference on Thursday
The president also blasted Senator Mitt Romney — the only Republican to vote for his removal from office on Wednesday.
Vindman, too, received mockery from the president during the White House event. “Lieutenant Colonel Col. Vindman and his twin brother — right? — we had some people that — really amazing,” Trump said of the Purple Heart recipient.
And his negative comments toward the Army officer have not been confined to public utterances, The Post reported: “Trump has complained about Vindman in private, mocking the way he spoke, wore his uniform and conducted himself during the impeachment inquiry, according to people familiar with his remarks.”
Vindman could be joined in his ouster by other national security officials who testified in the impeachment inquiry as well, as the president remains incensed that so many of his officials testified against him, calling them disloyal and plotting their removals.
But despite Trump’s ongoing anger, White House officials say the mood is light overall and that the president is in his best political position yet post-impeachment.
The Post noted that Gallup has Trump enjoying a 49 percent approval rating and that the economy continues to be performing well on the whole. And now that impeachment is over, Trump has no real investigative worries to consume him.