White House counselor Kellyanne Conway professed incredulity while addressing the firing of the Vindman brothers Monday morning, saying that officials detailed to the White House are routinely abruptly booted from their posts.
“They are employed today,” she said on “Fox and Friends,” agreeing when host Steve Doocy said “they didn’t get fired, they just got relocated.”
“This whole ridiculous words by Chuck Schumer today in the letter: ‘retaliation’ and ‘the President is exacting revenge?’ Where?” she said. “They are working at the Army where they were, they were detailed to the NSC. This is typical.”
Schumer sent a letter to 74 inspectors general in the wake of the double firing to focus their attention to the “dangerous, growing pattern of retaliation” against those who speak out against the administration.
For all her talk about the routine nature of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s removal, President Donald Trump took to Twitter over the weekend to smear the impeachment witness as “very insubordinate.”
Fake News @CNN & MSDNC keep talking about “Lt. Col.” Vindman as though I should think only how wonderful he was. Actually, I don’t know him, never spoke to him, or met him (I don’t believe!) but, he was very insubordinate, reported contents of my “perfect” calls incorrectly, &…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2020
Vindman was escorted out by security on Friday, far earlier than the July date he was slated to leave. His twin Yevgeny, a senior NSC lawyer, was also fired, though he did not testify against Trump.
Vindman’s lawyer, David Pressman, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Conway’s assertions.
On the subject of former Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland’s firing, Conway took fewer pains to scrub the vindictive motivation from the ouster.
“It was nice of the President to give him that post in the first place,” she said, adding that he “couldn’t keep his own story straight” while testifying.
Per the New York Times, some Republican lawmakers tried to keep Trump from firing Sondland, who was resistant to leaving.
Conway offered up an ominous “maybe” when asked if more heads will roll. As to “holdovers” or officials “who don’t believe President Trump’s agenda,” Conway issued a warning: “I always have my eye on them.”