House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was reportedly “stunned” by the reassignment of U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman out of the National Security Council (NSC) and away from the White House, and said that the action by President Donald Trump “goes too far.”
According to the Washington Examiner, Pelosi said she planned to speak with her colleagues about the reassignment, which many media outlets reported as a “firing” of Vindman even though he will still have a job elsewhere in government.
“I’m stunned by it. I’ll talk to my colleagues about this because I know they have some concern about some of the interventions that the president has with our military. That’s such a shame. What a patriotic person,” Pelosi reportedly of Vindman.
Pelosi on WH removing Vindman from NSC:
I’m stunned by it. I’ll talk to my colleagues. They have concerns about (President Trump’s) interventions with the military.
Pelosi on Vindman:
What a patriotic person. This goes too far.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) February 7, 2020
Yevgeny Vindman a leaker?
Vindman’s twin brother Yevgeny was also reassigned from the NSC to the Pentagon as a lawyer for the Army. Yevgeny Vindman worked in the office where manuscripts are vetted.
It was not known whether Yevgeny was responsible for leaking an excerpt from former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s memoir that said President Trump said he wanted to withhold aid to Ukraine until an investigation into the Bidens was announced, but he definitely would have had the means to leak it, since his office handled the task of deciding whether manuscripts could be published.
Bolton’s manuscript, due for publication in March, is now on hold because it contains classified information.
The Bolton leak threw the Senate impeachment trial into chaos and almost led enough Republicans to vote to call additional witnesses, which could have led to a lengthy delay in resolving the matter. When Trump’s lawyers argued that a quid pro quo wasn’t actually illegal and that Trump didn’t actually continue withholding the aid (only said that he wanted to), a majority of Republicans once again decided that additional witnesses weren’t needed.
Vindman’s reassignment is being blamed on his November testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. Trump’s retribution is swift, Democrats are saying.
This viewpoint would lead Democrat leaders like Pelosi to be upset and to think Trump is doing something wrong. But they always think Trump is doing something wrong, whether he is or not.
Draining the swamp
Why would Trump want someone in the White House that has shown he doesn’t support the presidential agenda and would seek to undermine it at every turn?
Vindman’s testimony and the testimony of NSC colleagues like Tim Morrison show that Vindman is and has been a deep state operative. During his testimony, Vindman admitted that he had shared information about the July 25 phone call with Ukraine that formed the basis for impeachment with the eventual so-called “whistleblower.”
In other words, Vindman was a huge part of the attempt to take Trump down. Trump would be unwise to leave him in place now that he knows what Vindman did; his reassignment was a necessity. And there’s nothing Pelosi can do about it.