(Reuters) – U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who testified in President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry, said on Friday that Trump intends to recall him from his post.
“I was advised today that the President intends to recall me effective immediately as United States Ambassador to the European Union,” Sondland said in a statement.
Sondland’s announcement came just hours after the Trump administration removed Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman from his position as the White House’s top Ukraine expert.
Vindman’s attorney claimed his client’s ousting occurred as retribution for damaging testimony he provided about Trump during the impeachment process.
Sondland and Vindman’s ousters come only days after Trump was acquitted by the Senate on two articles of impeachment in regard to a July 25 phone call between the president and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
In two speeches on Thursday, Trump took aim at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow House Democrats as well as Republican Senator Mitt Romney, the party’s 2012 presidential nominee and the only Republican senator to back an impeachment charge.
“So many people have been hurt, and we can’t let that go on,” Trump told the typically bipartisan National Prayer Breakfast, attended by Pelosi. “When they impeach you for nothing, then you’re supposed to like them, it’s not easy, folks,” he said.
At a White House celebratory event with his legal team and congressional supporters, Trump on Thursday also called out former FBI Director James Comey, House Democrats’ lead impeachment manager Adam Schiff, and his 2016 Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, though he stopped short of announcing any specific actions to be taken against anyone.
White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham had told Fox News that Trump was considering “just how horribly he was treated and that maybe people should pay for that.”
Separately, two Trump aides brought in to the White House to help with the impeachment proceedings, Tony Sayegh and Pam Bondi, were leaving following the Senate’s acquittal on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Karen Freifeld in New York; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
- Amb. Gordon Sondland testifies at an impeachment hearing in Congress in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 20, 2019.: C-SPAN