The U.S. military may look into taking disciplinary action against former National Security Council official Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman after he testified against President Donald Trump and was removed from the White House.
Trump himself made the suggestion during a press briefing on Tuesday. He mentioned that “the military can handle him,” referring to Vindman. A reporter followed up on the statement to ask Trump what he meant.
“That’s going to be up to the military, we’ll have to see, but if you look at what happened, they’re going to certainly, I would imagine, take a look at that,” Trump said, as reported by Politico.
Trump also said Vindman said “very inaccurate things” in his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee regarding the president’s phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“It turned out that what he reported was very different,” Trump said. “And also, when you look at the person he reports to, said horrible things, avoided the chain of command, leaked, did a lot of bad things. And so, we sent him on his way to a much different location, and the military can handle him anyway they want.”
Trump is likely referring to the fact that Vindman broke one of the fundamental principles governing the military: Do not publicly question or refuse the orders and policies of higher ups. And since the president of the United States is at the top of the chain of command, Vindman broke the principle. Whether he will be disciplined for it is anyone’s guess.
While Vindman has become a hero to the Left simply for speaking out against Trump, the Right has noted that the former military official’s qualms with Trump were policy related and that he really had nothing to say about any crimes Trump may or may not have committed while speaking to Zelensky. Attorney and former Army Ranger John Lucas wrote at The Federalist (where I also have a byline) after Vindman’s testimony that his “questions and answers made clear he simply disagreed with the way the president was administering his chosen foreign policy.”
Two Medal of Honor recipients also chastised Vindman earlier this week for being a “chow thief” and a “spotlighter,” The Daily Wire’s Amanda Prestigiacomo reported.
Master Sergeant (ret.) Leroy Petry said on Fox & Friends over the weekend that Vindman “couldn’t be trusted” back at Ranger School. Vindman, according to Petry, took food (chow thief) when there was a limited supply, only worked hard when someone was watching (spotlight ranger), and irked his peers enough for them to try to get him out of Ranger School (peered out). Petry also said Vindman let everyone know he was a liberal even though people in the military are supposed to keep it contained.
Vindman was one of the first among a house cleaning of the National Security Council. Trump on Tuesday removed Vindman and his twin brother Yevgeny and will continue to remove Obama-era holdovers on the council. Members of the NSC serve at the discretion of Trump, and he has every right to remove them.