In spite of harsh criticisms from President Donald Trump and people who are in strong support of him, Trump’s former Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly gave accolades to Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman.
Vindman had been part of Trump’s National Security Council up until earlier this month. But following the conclusion of the Senate impeachment trial, the president fired Vindman, apparently as punishment for him testifying that Trump had indeed pressured Ukraine to announce investigations into Joe and Hunter Biden.
Trump on Tuesday told reporters that he believed the military should look into Vindman’s actions, and determine whether they were inappropriate or not — an announcement that many believed amounted to the president seeking retributive measures.
“If you look at what happened, they’re going to certainly, I would imagine, take a look at that,” Trump said, per reporting from The Daily Beast.
But Kelly, speaking before an audience gathered at Drew University in New Jersey on Wednesday evening, appeared to subtly denounce such tactics, and came to Vindman’s defense on the matter.
Damn, this is something else. Last night, General Kelly (Trump's former Chief-of-Staff) gave a speech at Drew University in which he defended Lt. Col. Vindman and suggested Trump acted inappropriately, among other things // by @PeterAtlantic: https://t.co/7TBVsOLNkF
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) February 13, 2020
“He did exactly what we teach them to do from cradle to grave,” Kelly said of Vindman, according to a report from Politico. “He went and told his boss what he just heard.”
Kelly went on to explain what it is exactly that Vindman and others are taught regarding such matters:
“We teach [members of the military], 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.”
As of right now, the Army hasn’t initiated an inquiry, nor is it planning to investigate Vindman. But as we saw earlier this week, other executive branch departments have acted upon Trump’s complaints.
The Department of Justice had, for example, created sentencing guidelines for former Trump confidante Roger Stone. When Trump barked on Twitter that they were too harsh, the DOJ announced it would review the matter, prompting the four attorneys involved with the case to resign, the New York Times reported.