This story is developing.
Per the NYTimes, President Trump and his aides wasted little time opening a campaign of retribution against those he blames for his impeachment, firing on Friday two of the most prominent witnesses in the inquiry against him barely 48 hours after the Senate acquitted the president.
Emboldened by his victory and determined to strike back, Mr. Trump fired Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, within hours of the White House dismissing Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, a decorated Iraq war veteran who was a Ukraine expert on the National Security Council. Both officials testified to a House committee about the president’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to help him against his domestic political rivals.
Fox News reports U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who testified about President Trump’s Ukraine dealings during the House impeachment hearings, said Friday he had been recalled from his overseas position, hours after a National Security Council aide who testified against the president was also fired.
“I was advised today that the president intends to recall me effective immediately as United States ambassador to the European Union,” Sondland said.
Sondland’s recall follows the dismissal of another impeachment witness, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who was fired by the National Security Council and escorted off of the White House grounds on Friday.
The moves come just two days after Trump was acquitted in the Senate on two articles of impeachment brought by the House last year over his dealings with Ukraine.
“I am grateful to President Trump for having given me the opportunity to serve, to Secretary Pompeo for his consistent support, and to the exceptional and dedicated professionals at the U.S. Mission to the European Union,” Sondland said Friday. “I am proud of our accomplishments. Our work here has been the highlight of my career.”
Trump supporters reacted to the news on Twiter:
None of the officials whom Trump has removed could do their jobs any more. Least of all Sondland — could he really work with Trump after serving as the useful idiot in Schiff’s botched coup attempt? They should have had the integrity to resign — as others did, without fault.
— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) February 8, 2020
Vindman serves on the NSC at the pleasure of the president
Same thing with Sondland as Ambassador
Trump is not pleased with them. So they go. That’s how it works.
This isn’t complicated.
— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) February 7, 2020
BREAKING: Gordon Sondland has been recalled from his post as U.S. Ambassador to the European Union.
— Vindman brothers: FIRED
— Sondland: FIRED
— Yovanovich: FIRED
Thank you Mr. President for draining the swamp!
— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) February 8, 2020