Former National Security Advisor John Bolton slammed the White House’s involvement in the early retirement of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” on Wednesday.
Vindman, the former White House aide who was a central figure in President Donald Trump's impeachment, announced on Wednesday he will retire, with his attorney telling CNN he did so because he feels his military career will "be limited" by Trump's campaign of "bullying, intimidation, and retaliation."
Bolton told MSNBC that, despite the president having the authority to be involved in military promotions, the interference "is entirely inappropriate.”
He stressed that “It's a question of judgment and presidential character... This represents an intrusion into the discipline and good order of the military.”
Bolton said Vindman “merited promotion,” adding that his retirement “is really a loss for the country.”
He added that “I'm sure that Congress is going to be very interested over the coming weeks as to exactly what factored into his decision.”
Bolton also criticized Sen. Tammy Duckworth, who held up the promotion of other officers in an attempt to pressure the White House to give answers on Vindman’s situation.
“I think she helped put Vindman in an intolerable position,” Bolton said. “He was faced with her hold on the legitimate promotions of dozens, maybe hundreds of his brother officers. And I think he would see the honorable thing to do there, in part, to get out of their way, which he would not have had to do had she not interfered this way.”
Bolton emphasized it was "really just as much a use of political leverage over the military as, I suspect, the White House, under the orders or the influence of Trump himself, engaged in.
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