During an appearance on “Face the Nation” National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien implied Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman may be removed from the White House National Security Council.
National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien says Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman will be removed from the White House National Security Council pic.twitter.com/otsHMgHTUR
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) November 10, 2019
Editor’s Update: Vindman still detailed to NSC at this time.
Per Yahoo, despite giving testimony that was critical of President Trump’s July 25 call with the Ukrainian president, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, the White House Ukraine expert on the National Security Council (NSC), is scheduled to remain on the job at the White House until July 2020, his lawyer told CBS News Sunday.
The question about the duration of Vindman’s detail on the NSC arose when CBS News’ “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan asked national security adviser Robert O’Brien whether Vindman would continue to serve on the NSC, even though he had criticized the president when he was interviewed by Congress in October.
Asked directly by Brennan, “Will he continue to work for you despite testifying against the president,” O’Brien responded indirectly.
“Well, look,” he replied, “one of the things that I’ve talked about is that we’re streamlining the National Security Council. It got bloated to like 236 people from, up from 100 in the Bush administration, under President Obama.”
He added, “We’re streamlining the National Security Council. There are people that are detailed from different departments and agencies. My understanding is he’s — is that Colonel Vindman is — is detailed from the Department of Defense. So 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. But we’re going to get that number down to around 100 people.”
Brennan followed up by asking O’Brien to confirm that this did not constitute retaliatory action against Vindman.
“I never retaliated against anyone,” O’Brien told Brennan.
After “Face the Nation” aired, Vindman’s lawyer, Michael Volkov, told CBS News in a statement, “LTC Vindman is still detailed to the National Security Council. His detail ends July 2020. We are not aware of any change in his status. Obviously any retaliatory action against LTC Vindman on a day when we honor our military heroes would be reprehensible.”
Per NationalReview, Vindman, a key witness in the impeachment inquiry, was the subject of attacks ahead of his Tuesday testimony.
Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council staffer and key witness in the House’s impeachment inquiry, was accused by former Republican congressman Sean Duffy of having dual loyalty to the United States and Ukraine.
“It seems very clear that [Vindman] is incredibly concerned about Ukrainian defense,” Duffy said in a CNN interview Tuesday morning. “I don’t know about his concern [for] American policy, but his main mission was to make sure the Ukraine got those weapons. I understand it: We all have an affinity to our homeland where we came from. Like me, I’m sure that Vindman has the same affinity.” Vindman is a U.S. citizen who left Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union, when he was three years old.
TPM reports on Sunday, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who gave a bombshell testimony in the House impeachment investigation last month on President Donald Trump’s Ukraine scheme, will be removed from his post at the White House National Security Council.
“Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, who has testified under oath, is serving on the National Security Council currently,” CBS News’s “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan said during her interview with O’Brien. “Will he continue to work for you despite testifying against the President?”
“Well look, one of the things that I’ve talked about is that we’re streamlining the National Security Council,” O’Brien replied. “It got bloated to like 236 people up from 100 in the Bush administration under President Obama.”
The national security adviser said Vindman, who currently serves as the council’s Director for European Affairs, will be removed as a part of the White House’s “streamlining” efforts.
“My understanding is he’s–that Colonel Vindman is detailed from the Department of Defense,” O’Brien said. “So 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.”
When Brennan asked O’Brien to confirm that the decision is not retaliation against Vindman, whom Trump has baselessly accused of being a “Never Trumper,” the national security adviser’s response was that he personally had never retaliated against anyone.
“I never retaliated against anyone,” he said. “There- there will be a point for everybody who’s detailed there—that their time, that their detail will come to an end.”
This article first appeared on TheConservativeOpinion.com