Trump Now Wants ‘Bad Ratings’ Fox Anchor Neil Cavuto Fired After Featuring Guest Who Was Mean

President Donald Trump attacked Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto on Friday, mocking his “very bad ratings” and “Fake guests.”

“So @TeamCavuto has very bad ratings on @foxnews with his Fake guests like A.B. Stoddard and others that still haven’t figured it all out,” wrote Trump in a Twitter post. “Will he get the same treatment as his friend Shepherd Smith, who also suffered from the ratings drought?”

President Trump previously called out Cavuto on Thursday for hosting a guest who was critical of his debate skills.

“Could somebody at @foxnews please explain to Trump hater A.B. Stoddard (zero talent!) and @TeamCavuto, that I won every one of my debates, from beginning to end,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Check the polls taken immediately after the debates. The debates got me elected. Must be Fox Board Member Paul Ryan!”

President Trump also attacked Fox News during his Thursday campaign rally in Colorado Springs.

“They had a crazy person on today, on one of the Fox shows,” Trump said. “Fox doesn’t treat us the way they used to.”

“Their loser shows are the ones that don’t like Trump,” he continued, adding, “How’s Shep Smith doing by the way?”

Shepard Smith, whose coverage drew the president’s ire on many occasions, left the network in October after 23 years on air.

Fox Business host Trisha Regan shot back at the president for calling out Cavuto, saying, “[Cavuto] is someone who started this network, Fox Business, and someone who is the utmost journalist and always fair… I can tell you that about Neil. He is a fair person, a fair guy, and a good man.”

“So I’m disappointed that the president said those things,” she declared. “Because Neil Cavuto is one guy who just doesn’t deserve it.”

[Mediaite]

Trump’s Colorado rally featured an extended meltdown over 30 seconds of critical Fox News coverage

President Donald Trump devoted an inordinate amount of time during his rally on Thursday in Colorado Springs to complaining about a Fox News segment that few of the attendees were likely to have seen, featuring commentary from a journalist most of them had probably never heard of.

The roughly 20-minute display was remarkably petty — and it wasn’t the only one of that sort Trump made in Colorado Springs. But it was also an illustration of the complete, blind loyalty that Trump expects from Fox News.

At issue was commentary made earlier in the day on Neil Cavuto’s show by A.B. Stoddard, who works as an associate editor at the political news and polling aggregation outlet RealClearPolitics. Stoddard panned Mike Bloomberg’s performance in Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate, but did so by taking a shot at Trump.

“I think that Donald Trump had disastrous debate performances. Many answers were so cringeworthy you just couldn’t even believe he was still standing on the stage — and he’s president,” she said — the implication being that despite Bloomberg’s rough night, his campaign isn’t over yet, just like Trump’s wasn’t after his bad showings.

Even though he’s traveling in Nevada, Arizona, and California this week, Trump apparently saw Stoddard’s comments and lashed out at everyone involved — including former House Speaker Paul Ryan, who now serves on Fox Corporation’s board.

“Could somebody at @foxnews please explain to Trump hater A.B. Stoddard (zero talent!) and @TeamCavuto, that I won every one of my debates, from beginning to end,” the president tweeted. “Check the polls taken immediately after the debates. The debates got me elected. Must be Fox Board Member Paul Ryan!”

Trump was still seething hours later. Minutes into his rally in Colorado Springs, he brought up Fox News and denigrated Cavuto, saying “nobody likes him.” He falsely claimed Cavuto has “taken” the place of former Fox News afternoon host Shepard Smith (though he seemed unable to remember Smith’s name), then alluded to the segment with Stoddard (though he couldn’t seem to remember her name either) and said, “wait a minute — I won every debate. It’s true.”

“I said, ‘Nobody’s allowed to do that. You can’t do that.’ We’re at enough of a disadvantage with the fake news. You know, they make up 90 percent of the stories,” continued Trump, as his fans took the cue to start booing the assembled media.

But that wasn’t all. Trump spent much of the next 15 minutes harping on the segment and trying to debunk Stoddard’s claim about him not doing well in the debates by reading off random polls from 2016.

“Look at this — ‘Trump 70 percent,’ next one is 18 percent, next one is 7, 4, 3, 3, 3, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1,” Trump read off a sheet of paper, before tossing it away. “‘Trump didn’t do well in the debates!’ See — they’re fake news.”

“Here’s another one, Trump kicked ass.”

By the end of his rant, Trump was conflating various conspiracy theories, blending a number of them into a single incoherent attack on his perceived enemies.

“They want to take you out. They want to change the results. They got caught spying — let’s say it like it is, right? — they got caught spying on our election, fake news. Hey, fake news: take your cameras for a change, and show them the room, and show them behind you,” Trump said.

The point Trump was trying to make was twofold: Polls indicate his debate performances were actually good (this is not true), and the highest-rated shows on Fox are ones that basically don’t allow hosts or guests to be critical of him.

But for someone who was unaware of the backstory, the president’s remarks must have sounded like nonsensical ramblings. Even for someone who was, the extended meltdown over a 30-second clip of commentary on a relatively obscure afternoon show was bizarre.

Trump fired acting DNI Maguire over alleged staff disloyalty

President Trump erupted at acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Joseph Maguire in a meeting last week over concerns about Maguire’s staff’s loyalty, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.

The reported incident occurred shortly before Trump announced on Wednesday Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell would take over from Maguire as the acting intelligence chief.

Trump decided against nominating Maguire for the post on a permanent basis after learning a member of his staff, Shelby Pierson, gave a classified briefing last Thursday to the House Intelligence Committee regarding election security, the newspaper reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The specific contents of Pierson’s briefing are unknown, but Trump appeared to believe she had given information specifically to Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) that would be beneficial to Democrats if made public, the people familiar with the matter told the Post.

Trump was furious and held Maguire personally responsible when the two next met, the Post reported, resulting in a “dressing down” by the president and which served as “the catalyst” for Trump ultimately opting to appoint Grenell.

A committee official told the Post the briefing concerned “election security and foreign interference in the run-up to the 2020 election,” speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Members on both sides participated, including Ranking Member [Devin] Nunes [R-Calif.], and heard the exact same briefing from experts across the Intelligence Community,” the committee official said. “No special or separate briefing was provided to one side or to any single member, including the chairman.”

Pierson was initially appointed in 2019 by then-DNI Dan Coats, who departed the White House the same year, and had frequently disagreed with the president on the extent of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and the threat of future interference.

[The Hill]

Trump lashes out at Fox News coverage: ‘I won every one of my debates’

President Trump on Thursday lashed out after a segment on Fox News’s “Your World with Cavuto,” in which RealClearPolitics associate editor A.B. Stoddard compared former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s debate performance to “cringe-worthy” moments Trump has had on the debate stage.

“There were many bombs,” Stoddard, a former associate editor at The Hill, said on Fox News, while analyzing Bloomberg’s debate performance.

“I think he’s uncoachable. I think that Donald Trump had disastrous debate performances, many answers were so cringe-worthy you just couldn’t believe he was still standing on the stage, and he’s president so I don’t think debates kill off normal candidates who do not have a billionaire juggernaut machine,” Stoddard added.

Trump promptly took to Twitter to attack the commentator, as well as host Neil Cavuto, while taking a swipe at former Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who is now on the board of Fox News.

“Could somebody at @foxnews please explain to Trump hater A.B. Stoddard (zero talent!) and @TeamCavuto, that I won every one of my debates, from beginning to end. Check the polls taken immediately after the debates. The debates got me elected. Must be Fox Board Member Paul Ryan!” Trump tweeted.

Cavuto later responded on air to Trump’s tweet.

“He heard A.B. Stoddard and tweeted out this, that she’s a Trump hater and that ‘I won every’ debate the last go around. You can read that as well as I. But, just to point out, he did not. When you look at polls that came out from Fox, NBC, CNN, Politico, YouGov and a host of others, the initial read was that he had failed to do well in those debates. He ultimately won, but he didn’t poll well in those debates.”

Trump has focused many of his recent attacks on Bloomberg, often referring to him as “mini Mike” in tweet storms.

During Wednesday night’s debate, after Bloomberg said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) had no “chance whatsoever” of defeating Trump, the president responded on Twitter: “Mini, there’s even less chance, especially after watching your debate performance last night, of you winning the Democrat nomination…But I hope you do!”

[The Hill]

Trump Attacks Roger Stone Jury Forewoman

President Donald Trump spoke out for the first time since Roger Stone was sentenced to three years and four months in prison on Thursday by Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the D.C. District Court.

During a speech before former prisoners at a criminal justice event in Las Vegas, Trump fired shots at the jury forewoman in the Stone trial, stating, “The forewoman of the jury, the woman who was in charge of the jury, is totally tainted when you take a look.” He additionally labelled her as an “anti-Trump activist” and a “dominant person,” claiming, “she can get people to do whatever she wants.”

“How can you have a jury poll tainted so badly?” Trump asked. He later added, “But it happened to a lot of people and destroyed a lot of people’s lives.”

Trump ended his rant on the jury forewoman by promising viewers, “We are cleaning it out. We are cleaning the swamp, we are draining the swamp.”

He then transitioned to Stone, stating, “I want the process to play out. I think that is the best thing to do. Because I would love to see Roger exonerated. I would love to see it happen because I personally think that he was treated very unfairly.”

He did not say whether he would pardon his longtime friend and adviser.

[Mediaite]

Trump quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson, Suggesting He’s a ‘King’

The tweets of Donald J. Trump are sometimes inane, sometimes scary, and sometimes baffling. On Saturday he made two that are the latter. Only a few days after inexplicably sharing a clip from Curb Your Enthusiasm that clearly mocked his supporters, the president decided to post something even more Mad Libs-weird: He quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Technically he was quoting someone else quoting Emerson: a piece from his dreaded New York Times that dropped back in early February. The headline was, alas, not exactly flattering: “While Stained in History, Trump Will Emerge From Trial Triumphant and Unshackled.” The article itself, by Peter Baker, wasn’t complimentary about the president’s newfound confidence after getting impeached by the House but acquitted by the Senate. Perhaps Trump didn’t read the whole thing. But he did single out one passage.

“Ralph Waldo Emerson seemed to foresee the lesson of the Senate Impeachment Trial of President Trump. ‘When you strike at the King, Emerson famously said, “you must kill him.’ Mr. Trump’s foes struck at him but did not take him down,” the tweet read. “A triumphant Mr.Trump emerges from the biggest test of his presidency emboldened, ready to claim exoneration, and take his case of grievance, persecution and resentment to the campaign trail.” He then cited Baker, at-ed the NYT, and added one of his greatest go-tos: “The Greatest Witch Hunt in American History!

Trump’s out-of-context (but still far from positive) tweeting read as a boast, even if he was quoting a publication he routinely demonizes. The fact that the president was quoting someone quoting Emerson truly weirded some people out.

Others were horrified. After all, he was essentially referring to himself as a king, not a president.

Some pointed out that Trump had been reduced to quoting the “failing” (though actually thriving) New York Times.

[Uproxx]

Federal Judge blasted White House involvement in DOJ case like a ‘banana republic’

Justice Department attorneys struggled with mounting frustration and skepticism from a federal judge about producing documents related to the investigation of former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, according to transcripts of closed-door conversations released in response to a lawsuit from a government watchdog group. 

The McCabe case—and President Donald Trump’s personal involvement in it—prompted federal judge Reggie Barnett Walton to call the government’s handling of it “disturbing,” a “mess,” and veering close to a “banana republic.”

“I think it’s very unfortunate,” Judge Walton told prosecutors as the case hung in limbo in late September. “And I think as a government and as a society we’re going to pay a price at some point for this.”

The comments were made in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) against the Justice Department.

Jordan Libowitz, a spokesperson for CREW, said the eventual release of the court transcripts on Friday, after a lengthy court battle, showed that the government was “trying to cover up the fact that they were stringing this [lawsuit] along while looking for a reason to indict McCabe.”

The court released the transcripts on Friday afternoon hours after McCabe’s lawyers released a letter from Justice Department officials saying they did not plan to charge McCabe with a crime. Two years ago, the DOJ’s top watchdog released a report finding that McCabe lacked candor when answering questions about leaks to the media. McCabe vehemently disputed the report’s findings. 

The CREW lawsuit sought material on how the Trump administration handled the criminal investigation into McCabe, who served as the acting FBI Director after Trump fired James Comey. In that capacity, McCabe helped oversee Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. He also became one of Trump’s top bête noires. The president has tweeted about him dozens of times, once accusing him of treason. McCabe, in turn, has vociferously pushed back. After Trump insinuated that McCabe deserved the death penalty, McCabe told CNN the comment was “quite honestly terrifying.” 

“It’s just a disgusting level of disrespect for the people who serve this country every day,” he said. 

Throughout the course of the CREW lawsuit, prosecutors appeared unable to predict when their investigation of McCabe would conclude, which would allow them to hand over documents related to the case through the Freedom of Information Act process.

In mid-September, McCabe’s attorneys wrote in an email to the Justice Department that they’d heard “credible” rumors that a grand jury investigating possible criminal charges against their client “had declined to vote an indictment.” They asked Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to drop the case but Rosen declined.

By the end of September, the transcripts released by the CREW lawsuit show the Justice Department had asked the court for another three months to decide whether to continue the McCabe case, calling it “an exceedingly difficult matter and situation.”  

That requested delay, as well as others in the months preceding it, created mounting frustration for Judge Walton as the government seemed unable to determine whether the case against McCabe would continue throughout the summer and fall of September 2019.

Walton chided prosecutors in late September, saying that their delays hindered CREW’s right to the documents and “from the standpoint of Mr. McCabe, he has a right to have the government make a decision and not hold his life in limbo pending a decision as to what’s going to happen.”

“I don’t know why it’s so difficult for a decision to be made. Either you have a case or you don’t,” he said.

Judge Walton also took issue with President Trump’s apparent personal involvement in the case. He told prosecutors that Trump’s comments about the case complicated the ability to receive a fair hearing in the FOIA lawsuit.

“[T]he public is listening to what’s going on, and I don’t think people like the fact that you’ve got somebody at the top basically trying to dictate whether somebody should be prosecuted,” Walton told prosecutors when they asked for another delay in late September. “I just think it’s a banana republic when we go down that road and we have those type of statements being made that are conceivably—even if not—influencing the ultimate decision. I think there are a lot of people on the outside who perceive that there is undue, inappropriate pressure being brought to bear.”

As recently as December 10, prosecutors pushed back on the release of the transcripts showing Walton’s questions about the timing of prosecutors’ decisions in the McCabe case. They argued it would give the public an incomplete picture of the investigation and potentially compromise the case. 

“To understand the Department’s exercise of prosecutorial discretion in this case would necessitate a broader disclosure of internal deliberative information than contained in the staled ex parte hearing transcripts,” J.P. Cooney, a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington, D.C., wrote in one filing obtained by the CREW lawsuit. Their release, he claimed, “risks unfairly calling into question the integrity of the investigation and any future decisions in the McCabe matter”.

Libowitz said Friday that it was “not surprising that the announcement of no indictment [of McCabe] was timed along with the release of these transcripts.”

A 2018 investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility found McCabe had “made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor—including under oath—on multiple occasions” about the FBI’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server and handling of classified information. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe in March 2018 just hours before his scheduled retirement date.

[The Daily Beast]

Trump says John Kelly must ‘keep his mouth shut’ after ex-chief of staff said Vindman did the right thing

President Donald Trump blasted his former chief of staff John Kelly on Thursday after the ex-top aide said Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman did the right thing in reporting his concerns about Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine’s president.

“When I terminated John Kelly, which I couldn’t do fast enough, he knew full well that he was way over his head,” Trump tweeted. “Being Chief of Staff just wasn’t for him. He came in with a bang, went out with a whimper, but like so many X’s, he misses the action & just can’t keep his mouth shut, which he actually has a military and legal obligation to do.”

“His incredible wife, Karen, who I have a lot of respect for, once pulled me aside & said strongly that ‘John respects you greatly. When we are no longer here, he will only speak well of you,” Trump continued. “Wrong!”

Trump was responding to comments Kelly made during a 75-minute speech and question-and-answer session at a Wednesday night event before students and guests at Drew University in New Jersey, which The Atlantic reported.

The retired Marine Corps general, who also served as Trump’s Homeland Security secretary prior to taking on his job as chief of staff, said Vindman was simply following his military training in reporting concerns about Trump’s call.

That phone call, in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden and Democrats, led to Trump’s impeachment. Last week, the Senate acquitted the president on two charges, although it was the first time in history a member of a president’s own party— Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah— voted to convict.

Vindman “did exactly what we teach them to do from cradle to grave,” Kelly said. “He went and told his boss what he just heard.”

Vindman, who was the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council and testified in the House impeachment inquiry, was escorted out of the White House last week. Trump later attributed Vindman’s removal to the impeachment.

Kelly said Vindman was right to flag the call because it marked a huge change in U.S. policy toward Ukraine and suggested the content of that call was akin to hearing “an illegal order.”

“Through the Obama administration up until that phone call, the policy of the U.S. was militarily to support Ukraine in their defensive fight against … the Russians,” Kelly said, according to The Atlantic. “And so, when the president said that continued support would be based on X, that essentially changed. And that’s what that guy [Vindman] was most interested in.”

“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,'” Kelly added.

Kelly, who departed the administration in late 2018, was also critical of other areas of the Trump presidency. He said Trump “tried” to get North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to give up his nuclear weapons “but it didn’t work.”

“I’m an optimist most of the time, but I’m also a realist, and I never did think Kim would do anything other than play us for a while, and he did that fairly effectively,” Kelly said.

In announcing Kelly’s impending departure in 2018, Trump told reporters: “John Kelly will be leaving — I don’t know if I can say ‘retiring.”’

“But, he’s a great guy,” Trump continued.

[NBC News]

Trump congratulates Barr for ‘taking charge’ of Stone case

President Donald Trump praised Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday for “taking charge” of the federal case against Roger Stone — a maneuver that has provoked outrage from congressional Democrats and appeared to prompt the withdrawal of four government prosecutors.

“Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Evidence now clearly shows that the Mueller Scam was improperly brought & tainted. Even Bob Mueller lied to Congress!”

A spokesperson for the Justice Department did not immediately return a request for comment on the president’s social media post.

Trump’s tweet comes amid escalating tensions at the Justice Department, which ramped up Tuesday after the department backed off a previous sentencing recommendation for Stone, a longtime informal political adviser to Trump.

Federal prosecutors had urged Monday that Stone be sent to prison for seven to nine years for impeding congressional and FBI investigations into connections between the Russian government and Trump’s 2016 campaign.

But after the president blasted that proposal Tuesday as a “horrible and very unfair situation,” the Justice Department submitted a revised filing that offered no specific term for Stone’s sentence and stated that the prosecutors’ recommendation “could be considered excessive and unwarranted.”

Trump also took shots Tuesday targeting former special counsel Robert Mueller’s squad of federal prosecutors — two of whom served on Stone’s prosecution team — as well as U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who was scheduled to sentence Stone and has overseen several other Mueller-related cases.

By the end of the day, the quartet of attorneys who had shepherded Stone’s prosecution had either resigned or notified the court that they were stepping off the case. Trump reprised his attack on their initial sentencing filing Wednesday, suggesting it was perhaps the product of “Rogue prosecutors.”

“Two months in jail for a Swamp Creature, yet 9 years recommended for Roger Stone (who was not even working for the Trump Campaign),” the president tweeted, making apparent reference to a former Senate Intelligence Committee aide who pleaded guilty in 2018 for lying to the FBI. “Gee, that sounds very fair! Rogue prosecutors maybe? The Swamp!”

Trump claimed Tuesday that he had not asked the Justice Department to change the sentencing recommendation, and Hogan Gidley, the White House’s principal deputy press secretary, repeated that denial Wednesday — asserting that neither the president nor anyone at the White House pressured the attorney general or other department officials to reduce Stone’s sentence.

“Unequivocally no,” he told Fox News, adding that the president “did not interfere here with anything.”

“Look, he’s the chief law enforcement officer. He has the right to do it. He just didn’t,” Gidley said of Trump. “He didn’t make any comment — didn’t have a conversation, I should say, rather, with the attorney general, and that’s just ludicrous. It’s just another scandal that the Democrats are trying to push forward.”

A senior Justice Department official said Tuesday that the decision to alter the prosecutors’ filing was unrelated to the president’s venting on social media and came before Trump issued his critical tweet. Instead, the official said, department leaders were “shocked” by the proposal, which “was not the recommendation that had been briefed to the department.”

Still, Democratic lawmakers quickly denounced the department’s intervention in the Stone case, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) calling Tuesday for an investigation by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz into the reversal.

Democrats’ condemnation continued Wednesday, as Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) demanded Barr’s resignation.

“I think that Attorney General Barr has no choice but to follow these dedicated prosecutors out the door,” he told MSNBC. “Because he’s acting simply as a henchman — a political operative — of the president, who’s always wanted the attorney general of the United States to be his Roy Cohn, his personal attorney.”

Blumenthal, who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, also said he had not heard back from that panel’s leader, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), regarding his request to probe the Justice Department’s actions.

Like Schumer, Blumenthal asked for Horowitz “to conduct an immediate, intensive investigation — because this kind of political interference is exactly the abuse of power, the dictatorial interference that we all ought to resist.”

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), another member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also had harsh words for the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.

“Bill Barr is demonstrating that he is not the attorney general for the people of the United States,” he told CNN. “He swore allegiance to the Constitution, not to one president, and I suspect it’s a tough day for a lot of career prosecutors in the U.S. Department of Justice. This is a critical moment for rule of law in our country.”

[Politico]

Trump suggests military should consider additional discipline for Vindman

President Trump on Tuesday suggested the military should consider additional disciplinary action against Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who provided damaging testimony against Trump in the impeachment inquiry and was reassigned from his White House job last week.

“We sent him on his way to a much different location, and the military can handle him any way they want,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “Gen. Milley has him now. I congratulate Gen. Milley. He can have him.”

Gen. Mark Milley is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Asked specifically if the Pentagon should pursue further action against Vindman, Trump said it would be “up to the military.”

“But if you look at what happened, they’re going to certainly, I would imagine, take a look at that,” he said.

The president’s comments on Tuesday signaled he was open to additional punishment for officials who testified against him in the impeachment inquiry. Some of his allies have sought to cast the ouster of witnesses like Vindman as justifiable reassignments rather than retribution.

Trump added that there were more departures to come, but it was unclear if he was referring specifically to impeachment witnesses.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Friday signaled there would be no punishment for Vindman, saying the Pentagon protects service members from retribution. 

“We protect all of our persons, service members, from retribution or anything like that. We’ve already addressed that in policy and other means,” Esper told reporters at the Pentagon during a press conference with his Colombian counterpart.

Vindman had been working temporarily at the White House as a member of the national security council when he was dismissed. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland was fired later the same day.

Both officials were among those who testified about Trump’s conduct toward Ukraine during House impeachment inquiry hearings last year. The House ultimately impeached Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, alleging he withheld security aid from Ukraine to pressure the country to investigate his political rivals.

The Senate acquitted Trump last week in a party-line vote.

Vindman proved to be one of Democrats’ most memorable witnesses. A Purple Heart recipient, Vindman testified that he believed Trump’s conduct on a July 25 call with the Ukrainian president was inappropriate and that he reported it to his superior.

Trump has mocked Vindman for wearing his military uniform during the hearing and complained about the contents of his testimony.

On Tuesday, the president accused Vindman of leaking and going outside the chain of command

[The Hill]

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