US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that military may consider disciplining of former National Security Council aide Alexander Vindman who testified against him in the impeachment trial. Both Vindman and his twin brother were ousted by the White House last week.
According to reports, Vindman provided one of the most damaging testimonies against Trump. The then NSC’s top Ukraine advisor testified that Trump’s request for an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter during a phone call made in July with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was improper. The call led to the Republican president being impeached in the Democratic-controlled House though he was later acquitted in the Republican-majority Senate.
Talking about Vindman, Trump told international media that he obviously wasn’t happy with the job of his sub-ordinate adding that he reported a false phone call. The President also said that they had sent him on his way to a much different location and that the military can handle him any way they want.
When asked if he was suggesting that Vindman would face disciplinary action, Trump said that it would be up to the military. In November, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that Vindman should not fear retaliation over his testimony, international media reported. Esper had also revealed that he had reinforced the ‘no retaliation’ message in a conversation with the secretary of the Army. However, following his testimony, Trump had called him ‘insubordinate’ and repeatedly complained about his testimony.
Speaking over Vindman being ousted, David Pressman, his attorney said that 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. His honour, his commitment to right, frightened the powerful.
(With inputs from agencies)