White House insists Vindman not ousted for political reasons

FILE – In this Jan. 27, 2020, file photo Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman walks down the steps of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. Vindman was escorted out of the White House complex on Friday, Feb. 7, according to his lawyer. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

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UPDATED 8:53 AM PT — Thursday, February 13, 2020

Republicans are divided on whether Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman should be punished for testifying against the president during the impeachment inquiry.

On Wednesday, congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said it would not be appropriate for the military to take disciplinary action against Vindman for his testimony. This comes after Vindman and his twin brother were escorted out of the White House and ousted from the National Security Council last week.

“I obviously wasn’t happy with the job he did,” said President Trump. “First of all, he reported a false call that wasn’t what was said on the call…what was said on the call was totally appropriate and I call it a perfect call.”

Vindman’s layer has claimed his client is being punished for speaking out against the president. However, several Trump administration officials have insisted Vindman was only reassigned and have dismissed claims of political motives.

Congressman Thornberry noted that it’s the president’s choice to pick his own cabinet members, but admitted the timing could stir controversy.

File – Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, attends a news conference on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Vindman, who is an activity duty service member, has since returned to the Department of the Army. President Trump said he will leave the decision of Vindman’s career up to the military.

“We sent him on his way to a much different location and the military can handle him any way they want,” he stated. “Gen. (Mark) Milley has him now, I congratulate Gen. Milley.”

Meanwhile, Vindman is expected to take part in the Army War College‘s summer class later this year.

RELATED: O’Brien says Vindmans Were Rotated Out Of Positions As National Security Council Faces Budget Cuts