The White House is reportedly considering removing Alexander Vindman, who works at the NSC and testified against Trump in the Democrats impeachment fiasco:
WASHINGTON TIMES – The White House is reportedly considering options to oust Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key witness against President Trump in his impeachment case, from the National Security Council as it reduces its staff, according to reports.
Bloomberg reported that the White House plans to frame it as part of an NSC staff downsizing, not a retaliation.
Lt. Col. Vindman’s testimony supported Democrats’ accusations that Mr. Trump pressured Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky in a phone call last July to announce a corruption investigation of Democratic presidential candidate Joseph R. Biden.
The NSC had no immediate comment.The president referred to Lt. Col. Vindman on Thursday while taking a victory lap over his acquittal in his Senate impeachment trial.
“Lieutenant Colonel Vindman and his twin brother — right? — we had some people that — really amazing,” Mr. Trump said while discussing a transcription of his call. Lt. Col. Vindman was one of the staffers who listened in on the call.
I’m sure Democratas everywhere are going to claim that this is retribution for Vindman testifying. But Vindman wasn’t going to be there much longer anyway, as his lawyer told CBS News:
Despite giving testimony that was critical of President Trump’s July 25 call with the Ukrainian president, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, the White House Ukraine expert on the National Security Council (NSC), is scheduled to remain on the job at the White House until July 2020, his lawyer told CBS News Sunday.
Not only that, but the White House was already talking about downsizing the NSC back in November when CBS wrote this article:
Asked directly by Brennan, “Will he continue to work for you despite testifying against the president,” [Robert] O’Brien responded indirectly.
“Well, look,” he replied, “one of the things that I’ve talked about is that we’re streamlining the National Security Council. It got bloated to like 236 people from, up from 100 in the Bush administration, under President Obama.”
He added, “We’re streamlining the National Security Council. There are people that are detailed from different departments and agencies. My understanding is he’s — is that Colonel Vindman is — is detailed from the Department of Defense. So everyone who’s detailed at the NSC, people are going to start going back to their own departments and we’ll bring in new folks. But we’re going to get that number down to around 100 people.”
Brennan followed up by asking O’Brien to confirm that this did not constitute retaliatory action against Vindman.
“I never retaliated against anyone,” O’Brien told Brennan.
With the reporting about Vindman’s anti-Trump motives as well as the fact that hey may have been the one to leak it in the first place, I do think the White House sees this as an opportunity to downsize the very leaky NSC back to what it used to be under Bush.