News and Commentary

Trump Administration Removes Alexander Vindman’s Brother, Yevgeny Vindman
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 19: Yevgeny Vindman, the brother of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, director of European affairs at the National Security Council, arrives back to the House Intelligence Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry of President Trump in Longworth Building on Tuesday, November 19, 2019. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, testified.
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Trump administration reportedly removed Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s brother, National Security Council attorney Yevgeny Vindman, on Friday from the White House, which came as the administration also fired Alexander Vindman.

Bloomberg News reporter Jennifer Jacobs wrote: “Alex Vindman’s twin brother Army Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, an ethics lawyer for the NSC, was also dismissed from his job today, sources tell me.”

Vindman’s attorney David Pressman, “indicated that the Iraq War veteran’s twin brother Yevgeny, who serves as a senior lawyer on the NSC, was also removed from his post and exited the White House alongside his brother,” Politico reported. “Yevgeny Vindman was not a witness in the impeachment process. His lawyer didn’t respond to a request for comment.”

CNN had reported earlier in the afternoon that Alexander Vindman was escorted out of the White House after he was fired and that his brother also left with him but that it was not clear at the time whether he had been fired.

PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor noted: “Where are the Vindman brothers heading? Lieutenant Colonel Yevgeny Vindman is going to Office of General Counsel at Army at the Pentagon. Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman is going to work at the Pentagon until he heads to war college on July 1.”

“A reminder: Both Vindman brothers are in the Army were on detail to the White House,” Alcindor added. “They have been reassigned out of the White House but they aren’t losing their jobs completely.”

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) supported the Trump administration’s decision, writing on Twitter on Friday morning: “I’d fire him. I listened to his testimony in the SCIF. He’s a leaker, not a whistleblower. Vindman was upset that @realDonaldTrump didn’t follow the script Vindman prepared for the phone call. Current Commander in Chief doesn’t take orders from a Lt. Col.!”

Reaction to the firing of the two brothers largely depended on whether those who were commentating were supporters or opponents of the president.

Former White House adviser Andrew Surabian wrote on Twitter: “The extent to which the media and their approved talking heads sincerely believe that an unelected national security bureaucracy should be deciding policy & running the country over the elected President is truly disturbing. Before Trump, I didn’t realize how bad it really was.”

Former White House adviser Cliff Sims wrote: “There are NSC aides who faithfully serve numerous presidents, working diligently to execute for their Commander in Chief. But there are also NatSec bureaucrats who view themselves as the REAL power, outlasting presidents, undermining & executing their own agenda. DRAIN THE SWAMP.”

Donald Trump Jr. added: “On the bright side, he may still be able to take the defense minister position in the Ukraine that he was offered a few times.”

Trump Jr.’s remarks came in response to Alexander Vindman’s testimony during House Democrats’ impeachment investigation when he said under oath that Ukraine had repeatedly offered him a top military position in their government.

Here is the exchange:

GOP Counsel Steve Castor: You went to Ukraine for the inauguration.

Vindman: Correct.

Castor: At any point in that trip, did [Ukrainian Defense Council Oleksandr] Danylyuk offer you a position of defense minister with the Ukrainian government?

Vindman: He did.

Castor: How many times did he do that?

Vindman: I believe it was three times.

While Vindman said that it would have been a ‘great honor’ to serve in the position” he turned down the offer “every single time,” adding that “upon returning, I notified my chain of command and the appropriate counterintelligence folks about this offer.”

This is a breaking news story, refresh the page for updates.