President Trump is preparing to push out a national security official who testified against him during the impeachment inquiry after he expressed deep anger on Thursday over the attempt to remove him from office because of his actions toward Ukraine.
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman — a National Security Council aide who testified during House Democrats’ impeachment hearings — will be informed in the coming days, likely on Friday, by administration officials that he is being reassigned to a position at the Defense Department, taking a key figure from the investigation out of the White House, according to two people familiar with the move who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss personnel decisions.
Vindman had already informed senior officials at the NSC that he intended to take an early exit from his assignment and leave his post by the end of the month, according to people familiar with his decision, but Trump is eager to make a symbol of the Army officer soon after the Senate acquitted him of the impeachment charges approved by House Democrats.
At an event in the East Room of the White House, he called Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) a “horrible person” and derided Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) as a flip-flopping Republican with “no sign of principles” whose vote to convict Trump on abuse of power charges was born not out of principle but bitterness over his failed 2012 presidential bid.
And he kicked off the day at the National Prayer Breakfast by questioning the two lawmakers’ claims about the role religion plays in their public lives.
“I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong. Nor do I like people who say, ‘I pray for you,’ when they know that that’s not so,” he told a room full of religious leaders.
Trump is strongly considering doing more than just launching verbal fusillades at his perceived enemies over impeachment as the decision regarding Vindman shows. Meanwhile, Senate committee chairmen are rounding up their investigation into Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine while his father, Joe, was vice president.