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Opinion Even now, Trump can't stop going after Lt. Col. Vindman

18:15  14 february  2020
18:15  14 february  2020 Source:   nbcnews.com

‘Appalling’: Hillary Clinton rips Trump over likely ouster of Alexander Vindman

  ‘Appalling’: Hillary Clinton rips Trump over likely ouster of Alexander Vindman Hillary Clinton used Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s own words to condemn President Trump for reportedly planning to remove the Army lieutenant colonel who testified during impeachment from the National Security Council. © Provided by Washington ExaminerVindman, 44, could be removed from his position as a Ukrainian expert who leads European affairs at the National Security Council as early as Friday. Although the reassignment has not been finalized, several people have criticized Trump for planning to remove Vindman. Clinton, 72, used Vindman’s opening remarks from his impeachment testimony to blast Trump.

The suggestion that Lt . Col . Alexander S. Vindman should now face punishment by the Pentagon was one sign of how determined the president is to even the scales after his impeachment. The suggestion that Lt . Col .

Col Alex Vindman . Trump said he had not been involved in the U.S. Justice Department’s decision to reduce the sentence of his former advisor, Roger Trump suggested Lt . Col Alex Vindman should face disciplinary action from the military and said he “wasn’ t happy” with the job Vindman did on the

a group of people standing in front of a military uniform: Image: Alexander Vindman© Jonathan Ernst Image: Alexander Vindman

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Vice President Mike Pence was in South Carolina yesterday, delivering a message to cadets at The Citadel, where the Indiana Republican delivered a "promise" to the audience: "You will have a Commander-in-Chief who will always have your back."

Well, maybe not always. Donald Trump has an unfortunate track record of demeaning those who serve in the American military.

In fact, around the same time Pence praised the president's commitment to honoring those who serve, Trump once again took aim at Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a week after the decorated war hero (and his brother) was ousted from the White House National Security Council.

Vindman, who provided key impeachment testimony, 'escorted' from White House, attorney says

  Vindman, who provided key impeachment testimony, 'escorted' from White House, attorney says "The truth has cost LTC Alexander Vindman his job, his career, and his privacy," Vindman's attorney told NBC News."LTC Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth," his attorney David Pressman said in a statement. "The truth has cost LTC Alexander Vindman his job, his career, and his privacy.

CNN's Daniel Dale says President Donald Trump contradicted himself when he told Geraldo Rivera that he sent his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to Ukraine when just months before he said that he Dale also fact-checks Trump 's comments about Lt . Alexander Vindman and the the call with Ukraine.

Lt Col Vindman was fired after the president was acquitted by the Senate. Mr Trump also fired the US envoy to the EU, who had also testified against Reacting to the comments, Mr Pressman said the president had "made a series of obviously false statements concerning Lieutenant Colonel Vindman

Trump made his latest comments Thursday in a podcast interview with Fox News host Geraldo Rivera, who characterized the vibe in the West Wing being "a nest of vipers and snitches and backstabbers and rats." Trump then railed against Vindman for saying "terrible things" about his now-infamous July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during his impeachment inquiry testimony.

The president said Vindman should've gone to his superiors, but instead "he went to Congress or he went to Schiff or he went to somebody." In reality, Trump has this backwards: Vindman carefully followed the chain of command, went to his superior on the NSC, and only spoke to lawmakers in response to a lawful congressional subpoena.

The president added, "Vindman was the guy that, when we took him out of the building, the building applauded.... I don't know if you heard that. The whole building, many of the people in the building started applauding."

Trump also kicked out the twin of impeachment witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, apparent retaliation for his brother's testimony

  Trump also kicked out the twin of impeachment witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, apparent retaliation for his brother's testimony Alexander Vindman's lawyer said Yevgeny was fired "suddenly and with no explanation, despite two decades of loyal service to this country." Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman worked as a senior lawyer and ethics official. He was also part of the National Security Council, where his brother served. Unlike his brother, he did not take part in the impeachment process.

Rudy Giuliani is still playing corruption buster in Ukraine, and now it appears he has a direct channel to Attorney General William Barr and the Department

Trump Suggests The Military Should Look At Disciplinary Action Against Lt . Col . Vindman , Who Provided Testimony In Hearings: As soon as Donald Trump secured

By all appearances, Trump made this up.

It was earlier this week when Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) toldPolitico, "Things have a short shelf life around here. I think the president, like all of us, is going to be ready to move on." It was the next day when Trump suggested Vindman should face disciplinary action from the military.

It now appears that won't happen, but the larger point remains the same: the president isn't letting go of his vengeance campaign against a decorated war hero who dared to tell the truth.

Vindman's lawyer issued a written statement yesterday, which read in part, "The continued public attacks by the President of the United States on an active-duty officer in the military are designed to intimidate and to punish. Just as the direction the President provided to the Department of Defense earlier this week is both unmistakable and chilling, by using the power of his office to repeatedly humiliate and punish those following the law, the President is encouraging breaking the law."

I don't think there's any doubt that this is true. It's easy to believe Trump holds a grudge against Vindman for daring to behave honorably, but the ongoing offensive is no longer about the lieutenant colonel anymore. It's about sending a message to the next White House official who may be tempted to do the right thing.

‘We are not a banana republic’: National security adviser defends Vindman dismissals .
Robert O’Brien said the brothers’ removal from the NSC was because they were trying to undermine Trump.“We’re not a country where a bunch of lieutenant colonels can get together and decide what the policy is of the United States,” O’Brien said during an event at the Atlantic Council think tank. “We are not a banana republic.

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