Donald Trump suggested the military should consider additional disciplinary action against Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who provided damaging testimony against Trump in the impeachment inquiry and was reassigned from his White House job last week.
“We sent him on his way to a much different location, and the military can handle him any way he wants,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.
“But if you look at what happened, they’re going to certainly, I would imagine, take a look at that,” he said.
The president’s comments on Tuesday signaled he was open to additional punishment for officials who testified against him in the impeachment inquiry. Some of his allies have sought to cast the ouster of witnesses like Vindman as justifiable reassignments rather than retribution.
— Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) February 11, 2020
Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Friday signaled there would be no punishment for Vindman, saying the Pentagon protects service members from retribution.
“We protect all of our persons, service members, from retribution or anything like that. We’ve already addressed that in policy and other means,” Esper told reporters at the Pentagon during a press conference with his Colombian counterpart.
Vindman had been working temporarily at the White House when he was dismissed.
“That will be up to the military. If you look at what happened, they are certainly — I would imagine take a look at that. But, no, I think what he did was reported a false call.” pic.twitter.com/UgPvKS55uR
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) February 11, 2020