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NBC News 8 Feb 2020

Trump Defends Dismissal Of White House Aide Who Testified In Impeachment Inquiry

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President Trump defended his dismissal of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key impeachment witness and the National Security Council's top expert on Ukraine, calling him "very insubordinate." Vindman's attorney called the president's tweets "false statements" and accused Trump of a "campaign of intimidation."


Dr. Anthony Fauci and other officials have self-quarantined after a White House aide tested positive for COVID-19, but Mike Pence plans to be at work after his press secretary tested positive.
CORONAVIRUS:

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump planted a maple tree on the South Lawn of the White House, Wednesday, April 22, in recognition of Earth Day and Arbor Day.
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Aides and allies have encouraged President Trump to do "fewer, shorter" sessions with reporters. Kayleigh McEnany, the new White House Press Secretary, said it's "entirely" the president's decision on whether to hold briefings. Trump faced scrutiny for comments on UV light and disinfectants after Thursday's briefing and he skipped questions from reporters on Friday.
Wearing face masks and standing six feet apart, nurses gathered in front of the White House on April 21, to read aloud the names of healthcare workers who died of the coronavirus.

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WHILE OTHERS SAY IT’S BLATANT RETALIATION. THAT HAS MANY
BLATANT RETALIATION. THAT HAS MANY WONDERING WHO’S NEXT.
THAT HAS MANY WONDERING WHO’S NEXT. HANS NICHOLS REPORTS.
WONDERING WHO’S NEXT. HANS NICHOLS REPORTS. >> Reporter: TONIGHT
HANS NICHOLS REPORTS. >> Reporter: TONIGHT PRESIDENT TRUMP
>> Reporter: TONIGHT PRESIDENT TRUMP DEFENDING HIS
PRESIDENT TRUMP DEFENDING HIS DISMISSAL OF
DEFENDING HIS DISMISSAL OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL
DISMISSAL OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL ALEXANDER VINDMAN FROM
LIEUTENANT COLONEL ALEXANDER VINDMAN FROM HIS NATIONAL SECURITY
ALEXANDER VINDMAN FROM HIS NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL, CALLING HIM
HIS NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL, CALLING HIM VERY INSUBORDINATE,
COUNCIL, CALLING HIM VERY INSUBORDINATE, CLAIMING HE HAD
VERY INSUBORDINATE, CLAIMING HE HAD PROBLEMS WITH
CLAIMING HE HAD PROBLEMS WITH JUDGMENT, ADHERING TO
PROBLEMS WITH JUDGMENT, ADHERING TO THE CHAIN OF COMMAND,
JUDGMENT, ADHERING TO THE CHAIN OF COMMAND, AND LEAKING
THE CHAIN OF COMMAND, AND LEAKING INFORMATION.
AND LEAKING INFORMATION. IN OTHER WORDS, OUT.
INFORMATION. IN OTHER WORDS, OUT. VINDMAN’S ATTORNEY
IN OTHER WORDS, OUT. VINDMAN’S ATTORNEY CALLING THE
VINDMAN’S ATTORNEY CALLING THE PRESIDENT’S TWEETS
CALLING THE PRESIDENT’S TWEETS "FALSE STATEMENTS" AND
PRESIDENT’S TWEETS "FALSE STATEMENTS" AND ACCUSING HIM OF A
"FALSE STATEMENTS" AND ACCUSING HIM OF A CAMPAIGN OF
ACCUSING HIM OF A CAMPAIGN OF INTIMIDATION.
CAMPAIGN OF INTIMIDATION. NEARLY ECHOING SENATOR
INTIMIDATION. NEARLY ECHOING SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN.
NEARLY ECHOING SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN. >> THIS IS ABOUT
ELIZABETH WARREN. >> THIS IS ABOUT RETRIBUTION
>> THIS IS ABOUT RETRIBUTION RETRIBUTION.
RETRIBUTION RETRIBUTION. THIS IS ABOUT PAYBACK.
RETRIBUTION. THIS IS ABOUT PAYBACK. >> Reporter: WHEN
THIS IS ABOUT PAYBACK. >> Reporter: WHEN VINDMAN TESTIFIED IN
>> Reporter: WHEN VINDMAN TESTIFIED IN THE HOUSE IMPEACHMENT
VINDMAN TESTIFIED IN THE HOUSE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY THE PURPLE
THE HOUSE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY THE PURPLE HEART RECIPIENT TOLD
INQUIRY THE PURPLE HEART RECIPIENT TOLD HIS SOVIET-BORN FATHER
HEART RECIPIENT TOLD HIS SOVIET-BORN FATHER NOT TO WORRY ABOUT
HIS SOVIET-BORN FATHER NOT TO WORRY ABOUT RETALIATION IN
NOT TO WORRY ABOUT RETALIATION IN AMERICA.
RETALIATION IN AMERICA. >> DO NOT WORRY.
AMERICA. >> DO NOT WORRY. I WILL BE FINE FOR
>> DO NOT WORRY. I WILL BE FINE FOR TELLING THE TRUTH.
I WILL BE FINE FOR TELLING THE TRUTH. >> Reporter: NOW
TELLING THE TRUTH. >> Reporter: NOW VINDMAN ALONG WITH HIS
>> Reporter: NOW VINDMAN ALONG WITH HIS TWIN BROTHER, WHO ALSO
VINDMAN ALONG WITH HIS TWIN BROTHER, WHO ALSO WORKED AT THE NSC,
TWIN BROTHER, WHO ALSO WORKED AT THE NSC, FORCED FROM THEIR
WORKED AT THE NSC, FORCED FROM THEIR PRESTIGIOUS WHITE
FORCED FROM THEIR PRESTIGIOUS WHITE HOUSE POSTINGS,
PRESTIGIOUS WHITE HOUSE POSTINGS, RETURNING TO THE
HOUSE POSTINGS, RETURNING TO THE PENTAGON.
RETURNING TO THE PENTAGON. STRUP ALSO
PENTAGON. STRUP ALSO TRUMP ALSO RECALLING
STRUP ALSO TRUMP ALSO RECALLING HIS AMBASSADOR TO THE
TRUMP ALSO RECALLING HIS AMBASSADOR TO THE EU GORDON SONDLAND, A
HIS AMBASSADOR TO THE EU GORDON SONDLAND, A BIG REPUBLICAN DONOR
EU GORDON SONDLAND, A BIG REPUBLICAN DONOR WHO TESTIFIED THERE
BIG REPUBLICAN DONOR WHO TESTIFIED THERE WAS A QUID PRO QUO FOR
WHO TESTIFIED THERE WAS A QUID PRO QUO FOR UKRAINIAN MILITARY AID
WAS A QUID PRO QUO FOR UKRAINIAN MILITARY AID AND INVESTIGATING THE
UKRAINIAN MILITARY AID AND INVESTIGATING THE BIDENS.
AND INVESTIGATING THE BIDENS. >> EVERYONE WAS IN THE
BIDENS. >> EVERYONE WAS IN THE LOOP.
>> EVERYONE WAS IN THE LOOP. >> Reporter: OTHER
LOOP. >> Reporter: OTHER ADMINISTRATION
>> Reporter: OTHER ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS WHO
ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS WHO TESTIFIED AGAINST THE
OFFICIALS WHO TESTIFIED AGAINST THE PRESIDENT’S WISHES
TESTIFIED AGAINST THE PRESIDENT’S WISHES HAVE RESIGNED,
PRESIDENT’S WISHES HAVE RESIGNED, INCLUDING TIM MORRISON
HAVE RESIGNED, INCLUDING TIM MORRISON AND AMBASSADOR MARIE
INCLUDING TIM MORRISON AND AMBASSADOR MARIE YOVANOVITCH, WHO TRUMP
AND AMBASSADOR MARIE YOVANOVITCH, WHO TRUMP ATTACKED WHILE SHE WAS
YOVANOVITCH, WHO TRUMP ATTACKED WHILE SHE WAS TESTIFYING.
ATTACKED WHILE SHE WAS TESTIFYING. >> IT’S VERY
TESTIFYING. >> IT’S VERY INTIMIDATING.
>> IT’S VERY INTIMIDATING. >> Reporter: WITH THE
INTIMIDATING. >> Reporter: WITH THE FATE OF OTHER STATE
>> Reporter: WITH THE FATE OF OTHER STATE DEPARTMENT DIPLOMATS
FATE OF OTHER STATE DEPARTMENT DIPLOMATS LIKE DAVID HOLMES AND
DEPARTMENT DIPLOMATS LIKE DAVID HOLMES AND GEORGE KENT AS WELL AS
LIKE DAVID HOLMES AND GEORGE KENT AS WELL AS THE ORIGINAL
GEORGE KENT AS WELL AS THE ORIGINAL WHISTLE-BLOWER STILL
THE ORIGINAL WHISTLE-BLOWER STILL UNCLEAR.
WHISTLE-BLOWER STILL UNCLEAR. >> AND HANS JOINS US
UNCLEAR. >> AND HANS JOINS US NOW FROM THE WHITE
>> AND HANS JOINS US NOW FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.
NOW FROM THE WHITE HOUSE. HANS, WHAT DO WE KNOW
HOUSE. HANS, WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THAT
HANS, WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THAT WHISTLE-BLOWER WHO
ABOUT THAT WHISTLE-BLOWER WHO STARTED IT ALL?
WHISTLE-BLOWER WHO STARTED IT ALL? >> Reporter: WELL, THE
STARTED IT ALL? >> Reporter: WELL, THE PRESIDENT SAID
>> Reporter: WELL, THE PRESIDENT SAID REPEATEDLY THAT HE
PRESIDENT SAID REPEATEDLY THAT HE WANTS TO HEAR FROM THE
REPEATEDLY THAT HE WANTS TO HEAR FROM THE WHISTLE-BLOWER.
WANTS TO HEAR FROM THE WHISTLE-BLOWER. BUT HIS ABILITY TO
WHISTLE-BLOWER. BUT HIS ABILITY TO RETALIATE MAY BE

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