More than 1,000 veterans speak out against Trump’s ‘sustained attacks’ on Vindman

More than 1,000 military veterans have signed on to a letter condemning President Trump over his “sustained attacks” on Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the Army official who provided damaging testimony during the House’s impeachment inquiry and was later recalled from the White House’s National Security Council (NSC). 

The letter, which was organized by the anti-Trump group National Security Action, condemned the dismissal of Vindman and his twin brother, Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, saying it suggests that Trump is prioritizing “a personal vendetta over our national security.”

“Trump believes that he can assail LTC Vindman with impunity, knowing that the latter is, by law, barred from speaking out,” the letter reads. “The President should know, however, that, despite taking aim at one Army officer, he has targeted anyone who currently wears  —  or has worn  —  the uniform.”

Vindman was escorted out of the White House and told to leave the NSC just days after the Senate voted to acquit Trump of the impeachment articles approved in the House. His brother was removed from his position on the same day. National security adviser Robert O’Brien said the two have since returned to their posts at the Pentagon.

The White House has pushed back against suggestions that the recalls were in retaliation to the testimony Vindman offered during the impeachment inquiry, when he said that he found Trump’s July 25 phone conversation with the Ukrainian president to be inappropriate and that he had reported it to his superiors. 

But Trump has consistently railed against Vindman following the testimony. He’s claimed that Vindman was “very insubordinate” and has suggested that the military should consider additional disciplinary action for him. 

“The president’s slander … further undermines military discipline and public trust in an institution for which there are few more precious commodities,” the letter from National Security Action adds. 

Signatories of the letter include former U.S. Army Europe Commander Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, former Under Secretary of Defense Frank Kendall and former Connecticut Army Reserve Brig. Gen. Shepard Stone, The Military Times first reported

Defense Secretary Mark Esper has indicated that there would be no further punishment for Vindman, saying the Pentagon protects service members from retribution.  

Tags Alexander Vindman Donald Trump Mark Esper
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