According to a new report from the Washington Examiner Lt. Col Vindman was far from the only Obama holdover to be axed by President Trump.
Trump and national security adviser Robert O’Brien have removed 70 Obama holdovers from the NSC.
Per Breitbart, the news follows Saturday’s CNN report, which indicated “major cuts” to NSC staff in the coming days, citing “two sources familiar with the matter.”
It comes days after the contentious impeachment battle on Capitol Hill — a battle ignited by a complaint from a so-called “whistleblower.” The “whistleblower’s” complaint, regarding Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, sparked the House Democrats’ partisan impeachment inquiry, which ultimately ended in a full acquittal.
The administration removed Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key witness in the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, from his post at the NSC last week. It also removed his twin brother Yevgeny, who worked as a lawyer on the NSC.
While Vindman has denied knowing the identity of the “whistleblower,” he has been suspected of being a leaker in the past. Some Republican lawmakers, such Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), believe the former NSC official leaked details the president’s July 25 phone call to the “whistleblower.”
WashingtonExaminer reports President Trump is making good on his promises to “drain the swamp” and cut Obama-era holdovers from his staffs, especially the critical and recently controversial National Security Council.
Officials confirmed that Trump and national security adviser Robert O’Brien have cut 70 positions inherited from former President Barack Obama, who had fattened the staff to 200.
Many were loaners from other agencies and have been sent back. Others left government work.
The NSC, which is the president’s personal staff, was rocked when a “whistleblower” leveled charges that led to Trump’s impeachment.
….was given a horrendous report by his superior, the man he reported to, who publicly stated that Vindman had problems with judgement, adhering to the chain of command and leaking information. In other words, “OUT”.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2020
Last week, one key official who testified against Trump at a House hearing on the Ukraine affair that led to impeachment was sent packing. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman was returned to the Pentagon.
His twin brother, Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, was also given the boot. Trump had expressed displeasure that Alexander Vindman had testified against him when the Ukraine specialist said he did not like the phone conversation between the president and a newly elected president of Ukraine.
Since entering the White House, Trump has relied on staffs smaller than previous administrations and has noted how prior presidents had a much smaller NSC team.