Trump Admits He Fired Impeachment Witness Alexander Vindman for Being “Insubordinate”

Ugly stuff.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

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One day after removing Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman from the White House, President Donald Trump effectively admitted that he fired Vindman for his “insubordinate” testimony during the House’s impeachment inquiry.

Trump went on to attack Vindman, who testified under a subpoena, for reporting the contents of the president’s “perfect” calls related to Ukraine. The president blocked security assistance to Ukraine as part of a failed effort to prove a conspiracy theory that he hoped would hurt former Vice President Joe Biden, a potential opponent in the 2020 elections. Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives for the abuse of power then acquitted by the Senate on Wednesday.

On Friday, Vindman was escorted out of the White House, where he worked on the National Security Council, by security staff. His lawyer David Pressman said in a statement, “There is no question in the mind of any American why this man’s job is over, why this country now has one less soldier serving it at the White House.”

“Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth,” Pressman continued. “His honor, his commitment to right, frightened the powerful.” 

Trump also pushed out Vindman’s brother, Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, a lawyer on the National Security Council who was not involved with the impeachment inquiry. 

To round out the retributions, the president recalled Gordon Sondland, another key witness in the impeachment inquiry, as his ambassador to the European Union.

Trump has not yet tweeted about Sondland.  

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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