An attorney for Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman says President Trump’s claim of people in the White House “applauding” when the former National Security Council official was escorted off the grounds was a clear attempt to “intimidate and to punish.” “The continued public attacks by the President of the United States on an active duty officer in the military are designed to intimidate and punish,” read a statement from Vindman's lawyer, David Pressman. “By using the power of his office to repeatedly humiliate and punish those following the law, the President is encouraging breaking the law.”
In a Thursday podcast interview with Fox News host Geraldo Rivera, Trump blasted Vindman for saying “terrible things” about his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky—which sparked an impeachment inquiry against him in which Vindman testified. “First of all, that’s very insubordinate, why wouldn’t he go to his immediate—he went to Congress or he went to Schiff or he went to somebody,” Trump said, according to Talking Points Memo. Trump added that “the building applauded” when Vindman was escorted off White House grounds after Trump was acquitted by the Senate during the impeachment trial. “The whole building, many of the people in the building started applauding,” he said.