- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 8, 2020

President Trump left no doubt Saturday that he fired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman from the White House National Security Council for being “insubordinate” in his testimony against the president in the impeachment inquiry.

Mr. Trump said Lt. Col. Vindman, who was escorted off the White House grounds on Friday, “was very insubordinate, reported contents of my ‘perfect’ calls incorrectly, & was given a horrendous report by his superior.”

Lt. Col. Vindman was a key impeachment witness who had listened in to Mr. Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president. He testified that Mr. Trump inappropriately pressured Ukraine’s leader to start an investigation of Democratic presidential candidate Joseph R. Biden.

“Fake News @CNN & MSDNC keep talking about ‘Lt. Col.’ Vindman as though I should think only how wonderful he was,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “Actually, I don’t know him, never spoke to him, or met him (I don’t believe!).”

He said Lt. Col. Vindman’s supervisor “publicly stated that Vindman had problems with judgement, adhering to the chain of command and leaking information.”

“In other words, ‘OUT,’” Mr. Trump said.

Lt. Col. Vindman’s lawyer said Friday that he was punished for speaking the truth about the president’s phone call. Lt. Col. Vindman is returning to work at a job at the Defense Department.

The Senate acquitted Mr. Trump this week on impeachment articles charging him with abuse of power and obstructing Congress.

Another impeachment witness, European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland, said Friday that he, too, is being removed from his post. He is a political appointee.

“The president this morning made a series of obviously false statements concerning Lieutenant Colonel Vindman,” Mr. Pressman said in a statement. “They conflict with the clear personnel record and the entirety of the impeachment record of which the president is well aware.”

He added, “While the most powerful man in the world continues his campaign of intimidation, while too many entrusted with political office continue to remain silent, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman continues his service to our country as a decorated, active duty member of our military.”

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