Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman served as Director for European Affairs for the United States National Security Council (NCS) and was responsible for overseeing Ukraine policies at the White House when he became privy to a phone call that would upend the American political landscape as we know it.
In October 2019, Vindman became the subject of national attention when he testified to House Impeachment investigators that he had become concerned about President Trump’s July 25, 2019 phone call to Ukraine’s president, wherein Trump asked for an investigation into his political rivals.
In November, on CBS’ Face the Nation, national security advisor Robert O’Brien stated that Vindman would be leaving his post as a part of “streamlining” of the National Security Council.
Face the Nation later tweeted: VINDMAN OUT AT NSC: After testifying on the Hill, NSA O’Brien says Alexander Vindman will be removed from the National Security Council.
Vindman is an active military officer, serving on the NSC by way of the Department of Defense. O’brien said, “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.”
If Trump’s track record proves anything, these “new people” will be ones that he assumes he can control, particularly ones who might not report or give testimony where national security is concerned.
When asked if Vindman was “scheduled to rotate out” or if there was “any retaliation against him,” O’Brien said, “I never retaliate against anyone myself.”
O’Brien was asked again about the circumstances of Vindman’s departure and he replied, “There will be a time for everyone who is detailed there.” The evasion in both of those answers is clear.
O’Brien was pretty clearly trying to avoid a specific or detailed answer.
Trump has previously referred to Vindman as a “Never Trumper,” and let’s not forget that Trump has referred to “Never Trumpers” as “human scum.”