By Jon Dougherty
(TNS) Without question, President Donald Trump has had to endure more insubordination and undermining from his military and civilian national security staff than any president in modern history, and yet he’s been expected to take this abuse as though he has no right or authority to oppose it.
One of the most egregious recent examples of this was when Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a combat vet and member of the White House’s National Security Council, testified before the Democrats’ very partisan, very unfair ‘impeachment inquiry’ last fall.
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As we noted, there were several problems with Vindman’s appearance before Adam Schiff’s Intelligence Committee, not the least of which his claims of being ‘concerned’ about President Trump’s temporary hold on lethal military aid to Ukraine.
For one, Vindman never voiced similar concerns to President Obama when he refused to provide lethal aid to Kiev, despite the fact that Ukraine’s legitimate government was under assault by Russian-backed separatists. He also never raised ‘concerns’ when then-Vice President Joe Biden threatened to withhold financial aid from Ukraine if then-President Poroshenko didn’t fire the country’s top prosecutor, who was, at the time, investigating corruption linked to a company employing Hunter Biden at a salary of $83,000 per month.
Then, Vindman was caught lying about his ‘concerns’ about Trump’s alleged ‘quid pro quo’ — military aid for a probe into the Bidens — when Vice President Mike Pence’s national security adviser, Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg , testified that he heard “nothing improper” in Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Vindman was also caught in an ‘untruth’ underÂ questioning from Rep. Brad Wnestrup (R-Ohio); Vindman was exposed as having made a false claim about that conversation during his opening statement.
Whenever President Obama faced pushback of any sort from his military leaders, he fired them — without question, and without controversy. But somehow, President Trump is being told he has to take this abuse and there’s nothing he can do about it.
As reported by Bloomberg News, now that the impeachment saga has ended, the administration is set to make a series of ‘adjustments’ and ‘reforms’ to the National Security Council that will likely see Vindman and other deep state anti-Trump operatives moved to places where they can’t undermine the commander-in-chief:
The White House is weighing a plan to dismiss Alexander Vindman from the National Security Council after he testified in President Donald Trumpâ€™s impeachment inquiry, preparing to position the move as part of a broader effort to shrink the foreign policy bureaucracy, two people familiar with the matter said.
Any moves would come after the Senate on Wednesday acquitted Trump on a near party-line vote at the conclusion of the two-week impeachment trial. The White House intends to portray any house-cleaning as part of a downsizing of the NSC staff, not retaliation, according to the people.
Vindman was one of the Democratsâ€™ most crucial witness in their impeachment proceedings — a decorated Army lieutenant colonel, who raised the alarm over the presidentâ€™s July 25 telephone call with Ukraineâ€™s leader. Before Vindmanâ€™s testimony, the only account of that call came from an anonymous whistle-blower whose identity has remained largely hidden to this day, and a partial transcript released by the White House.
Some of the officials being targeted for removal from the NSC would be reassigned because theyâ€™re perceived as being disloyal to the president, three people familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity owing to the sensitivity of personnel moves.
Senior staff were informed on Thursday that some aides would be leaving the White House, the people added. The moves have been in the works since at least last week and could come as soon as Friday.
The departure of Vindman could trigger objections from Democrats and possibly some Republicans. Those concerns could mount if the Trump administration acts against additional government officials.
Naturally, Bloomberg News is treating the potential White House moves as some sort of controversy. But that’s nothing more than Trump Derangement Syndrome.
The president is commander-in-chiefÂ and head of the Executive Branch, and those authorities did not change just because Trump won the presidency. He is well within his rights to formulate a national security team that is deferential toÂ his policy objectives, and if someone on that staff doesn’t agree, then they are free to find something else to do.
Of course Democrats and their media will object because they object to everything Trump does. As for Republicans, voters are keeping an eye on them ahead of the 2020 elections, so it’s a safe bet they’ll be on board with whatever the president decides.
Meantime, it’s taken Trump this long to weed out the disloyal elements within his administration. We expect Trump will be newly emboldened after impeachment.
Let the purges begin.
Update: The purges began. As noted by this tweet, Vindman was escorted out of the White House Friday afternoon.
News — Lt. Col. Vindman was just escorted out of the White House by security and told his services were no longer needed.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) February 7, 2020
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