WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement after news broke of the removal of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander S. Vindman, a Ukraine expert on the National Security Council (NSC).
“Once again, President Trump is trying to run our country like it’s the mob – with a cult-like allegiance to an individual based on fear, and an aversion to the rules outlined in law. Our democracy was founded on the principles of freedom – free thought, free expression, and the ability to freely make decisions in the best interest of our country even when it goes against leadership.
“In spite of President Trump’s erratic actions to the contrary, democratic norms exist and should be in play here. The people who work for the government do not pledge their loyalty to the president. They take an oath to uphold the principles of the Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. If they are doing their jobs, they shouldn’t be fired for revenge. That sends a very dangerous message throughout our government. If people are told they can’t be honest, what does that mean for our country?
“Lieutenant Colonel Vindman did his job. He was asked, and appeared before Congress, and told the truth. For that, this highly decorated Army Soldier was removed from the NSC. In a time when so many others, including our own president, shy away from honesty, Vindman told the truth. He should not have been fired for that. He is the embodiment of the Army’s core values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.
“Vindman should return to his Army service with his head held high, and I urge Army leadership to ensure this brave Soldier does not experience any further retribution.”
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