On Wednesday, former White House Chief of Staff and retired Marine Corp. Gen. John Kelly praised Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman for refusing to be silent during President Donald Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky.
During an event at Drew University in New Jersey, Kelly said Vindman, who was on Trump’s infamous call with Zelensky, was doing what he had been trained to do as a military officer when he reported Trump’s request that Zelensky investigate Joe Biden to a White House lawyer.
Kelly described Trump’s request as an “illegal order.”
“We teach them, ‘Don’t follow an illegal order. And if you’re ever given one, you’ll raise it to whoever gives it to you that this is an illegal order, and then tell your boss,'” the former White House official said, according to the Atlantic.
Apparently catching wind of Kelly’s remarks, Trump took to Twitter to bash his former chief of staff on Wednesday.
“When I terminated John Kelly, which I couldn’t do fast enough, he knew full well that he was way over his head,” he tweeted. “Being Chief of Staff just wasn’t for him.”
Trump also claimed Kelly has a “military and legal obligation” to “keep his mouth shut.”
Trump fired Vindman from the National Security Council and he was escorted out of the White House last week. Trump also suggested on Tuesday that the military should take disciplinary action against Vindman.
“That’s going to be up to the military, we’ll have to see,” Trump said. “But if you look at what happened, I mean, they’re going to certainly, I’d imagine, take a look at that. What he did was, he reported a false call.”