politics Trump

Hours After Removing Purple Heart Recipient Alexander Vindman, Trump Fires Gordon Sondland

"There is no question in the mind of any American why this man’s job is over".

On Friday, Purple Heart recipient Alexander Vindman was escorted out of the White House. So was his twin brother Yevgeny, a senior lawyer and ethics official.

They were given no explanation for their unceremonious ouster from the National Security Council. Of course, no explanation was necessary.

“Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth”, his lawyer, David Pressman, said. “His honor, his commitment to right, frightened the powerful”.


I’m not sure “frightened” is the right word. “Irritated” or, better yet, “extremely annoyed” are probably better.

That’s not to say that Trump – who infamously received five deferments during the Vietnam war – is brave. It’s just to say that a man who harbors delusions of grandeur despite the seeming impossibility of thinking in terms that are any more grandiose than the office he already holds, is so clearly detached from reality, that the idea of being “frightened” by the “truth” probably doesn’t even occur to him.

Sure, Trump would be terrified if he were forced into actual combat, but we’re talking about a guy who, while in Davos last month, told the world’s foremost economic and financial luminaries that he singlehandedly ushered in an economic boom “the likes of which the world has never seen before”. And, this time, it sounded like he really believed it. It wasn’t your typical off-the-cuff Twitter boast or some stadium rally talking point aimed squarely at the MAGA faithful. He pretty obviously believes his own narrative by now.

The point is simply this: Trump doesn’t know what “the truth” is, so he can’t be frightened of it. And he is the living, breathing antithesis of “honor”.

So, with all due respect to Vindman and his lawyer, I have serious doubts about whether Trump was “frightened” by Vindman and his brother.

But he was annoyed by them, that’s for sure. And understandably so. After all, Vindman was a helluva witness for Democrats during the impeachment hearings.

Vindman’s testimony was damning in the extreme and, despite Republican efforts to smear him, was generally seen as exceedingly credible. Only Marie Yovanovitch made a more indelible impression on the public.

Read more:

‘There Was No Doubt’: Hill, Vindman Transcripts Describe ‘Sad’, ‘Shocking’, Sordid Ukraine Conspiracy

‘In Russia, This Would Surely Cost Me My Life’: Vindman, Williams Undeterred By Threats In Key Impeachment Testimony

Vindman listened to the infamous July call between Trump and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky and came away so concerned that he alerted the NSC’s counsel. According to his account, he was later instructed to keep quiet by John Eisenberg.

He also told lawmakers during closed-toor testimony in October that Zelensky was likely prepped for the call with Trump and that “Burisma” was intentionally left out of the memorandum documenting the conversation in order, one assumes, to obscure how overt the quid pro quo really was.

Vindman was not the only casualty on Friday. Trump also dismissed EU ambassador Gordon Sondland, the man the White House initially assumed would be a “good” witness.

In late November, Sondland delivered what, by almost every account, was a devastating opening statement during hotly-anticipated public testimony before House impeachment investigators.

Sondland emerged in October as perhaps the key player in the Ukraine saga. Witness after witness suggested it was Sondland who worked directly with Trump to bridge the gap between Rudy Giuliani’s shadow campaign in the country and official US policy towards the fledgling Zelensky government. Sondland was forced to revise his closed-door testimony to lawmakers after key portions were called into question by subsequent testimony from, among others, Bill Taylor.

In his public testimony, Sondland took the opportunity to tell the country, on national television, that he was hardly the only guy “in on it”, so to speak. In fact, Sondland said, “Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret”. “Was there a ‘quid pro quo?’”, he asked, on America’s behalf, before responding to his own question: “The answer is yes”.

Trump subsequently claimed he barely knew Sondland, despite his having donated $1 million to the inauguration committee. It was a rather stark change of narrative for Trump, who in September referred to Sondland as a “highly respected” man.

On Friday, just hours after Vindman and his brother were escorted off the property by security officers, Sondland said this, in a statement: “I was advised today that the president intends to recall me effective immediately as United States Ambassador to the European Union”.

Vindman’s attorney is confident voters understand what’s going on. “There is no question in the mind of any American why this man’s job is over [and] why this country now has one less soldier serving it at the White House”.

That’s true. What there is a question about, though, is whether America cares. The sad reality is that, like the president, large swaths of the voting public can no longer distinguish fact from fiction, truth from lies and right from wrong.


 

12 comments on “Hours After Removing Purple Heart Recipient Alexander Vindman, Trump Fires Gordon Sondland

  1. LOL. Trump channeling his inner Don Corleone. #MAGA

  2. The question I have is ‘who is preparing the judges list?’ that Trump and the Republicans are setting up all over the nation. He was proud to announce at the breakfast “194 so far and many more in the pipeline”. I assume these are Federal appointments that don’t have to stand for re-election every six years. I suspect abortion and women’s rights will suffer among other things. Or does whatever party that is in power stack the deck?

  3. Hey, immigration is down and Black Lives Matter has been squelched! Nothing else matters.

  4. trump sure acts like a Don. Not a good thing btw.

    I’ll trust Vindman over Sondland and Sondland over trump every time.

    If the judges are fair I have no problem with the choices. Don’t like the nuclear option but the consequences of winning. Some of the nominees have been halted, maybe not enough, but hopefully there is some rationality.

  5. At least Trump learned his lesson, right, Susan?
    “I am omnipotent.”

  6. I’m currently having to deal with my wife’s 75 year old brother, who has a lousy Medicare ADVANTAGE plan, and has NO LTC (long term care insurance).

    This is this guy’s story: We “took him in” to our home about 6 months ago, because he can’t walk, he needs help feeding, bathing, and dressing himself. And he wears diapers because… yeah.
    Three times a week, I load him into my car, via a wheelchair, and take him to his Dialysis treatments to a town 52 miles away, and sit in that town for four hours, three times a week, in the waiting room until his dialysis is done, load him back up in the car and drive 52 miles back home.

    He’s been in and out of hospitals and rehab facilities for over a year now, and his insurance will no longer pay for his care (his Medicare days have run out, and so have the days on his Medicare Advantage insurance).

    So that’s the picture.

    The really BAD part?

    While we aren’t bathing him, dressing him, feeding him, changing his diapers, digging turds out of his ass, and cleaning up his puke, he sits in front of the TV all day (IN OUR HOME) watching FOX news, and rails on about the terrible socialists and commies who are destroying this country by trying to tear down his God Emperor Trump, and about how all those evil, immoral, ignorant Democrats are a bunch of Godless, hateful ass holes who do nothing but HATE, HATE, HATE!

    But do you know what? He knows when he says these things, he’s talking about US, my wife and I, who are taking care of him.

    Yeah, that’s right… US, the ones taking care of him.

    We are the “terrible socialists and commies who are destroying this country by trying to tear down his God Emperor Trump, the evil, immoral, stupid Democrats, the hateful ass holes who do nothing but HATE, HATE, HATE!”

    NONE of his irresponsible CHILDREN (he has FOUR kids, aged 37 through 55) will deal with his problems, and they DUMPED him in OUR lap, so it’s up to US two 70 year old baby boomers to figure out a way to pay anywhere from $85,000 to $95,000 a year for his hateful, irresponsible A$$ in our home.

    Currently, I’m working on selling off all of his so-called assets and am shelling out big bucks to an elder law attorney to create a miller trust (a QIT) so he can qualify for MEDICAID (to pay the $85-$95,000 per year medical costs).

    And yeah, you had better believe this: As soon as I get him on Medicaid – I’m gonna stick him in a nursing home, where he can sit in there all day watching FOX news, and raise hell all he wants.

    When that day comes (I hope soon), I will thank God I won’t have to listen to him any more, and can forget he ever existed.

  7. retarded and evil

  8. Really, really difficult being a caregiver. Frustrating and exhausting, debilitates both emotionally, physically, and financially. Good on you, Dana, for what you are currently doing hard as it is.

  9. I wonder if you can use a child safety tool to block Fox from your cable line up.

    • You can. Someone on the nets recommend doing it when visiting elderly parents who have a Fox addiction and then quickly leaving.

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