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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Christopher Anderson, an aide to former Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, testified that the White House cancelled a Navy freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) in the Black Sea after President Donald Trump complained to then-national security advisor John Bolton about a CNN report that framed the operation as a counter to Russia, Politico reports.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman should not fear retaliation over his testimony to the U.S. Congress in its impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Monday.
Vindman, now detailed to the White House National Security Council, has been targeted by Trump following his Oct. 29 congressional testimony. Trump tweeted that Vindman was a "Never Trumper witness," raising questions about potential fallout on his military career.
"He shouldn't have any fear of retaliation," Esper told a small group of reporters during a flight to New York, adding that he had reinforced the "no retaliation" message in a conversation with the secretary of the Army.
'Assistance was essential' — Pentagon leaders advised Trump against freezing aid to Ukraine, senior official testifies
A senior Pentagon official told impeachment investigators that President Donald Trump's freeze on nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine posed a strategic nightmare for the Defense Department and put the American-allied country in a deeply dangerous position, according to impeachment inquiry testimony released Monday.
Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman testified before Congress on Friday that he believed there was "no ambiguity" to what President Trump was asking for on his July 25th call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Vindman, an active-duty Army officer currently working on the National Security Council, told lawmakers that, in the call between President Trump and Zelensky, it was "explicit" what Trump was asking for, according to a transcript of his testimony released on Friday
"I mean, there was no ambiguity, I guess, in my mind. He was calling for something, calling for an investigation that didn't exist into the Bidens and Burisma," Vindman said. "My visceral reaction to what was being called for suggested that it was explicit. There was no ambiguity."
Trump's obsession with buying Greenland may have complicated the release of military aid to Ukraine, US ambassador says
Acting U.S. ambassador Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, testified that senior U.S. officials could not advise President Donald Trump to release military aid to Ukraine because it was too difficult to schedule.
According to a transcript of a closed-door testimony with House investigators for their impeachment inquiry, Taylor was asked why the security assistance for U.S.-backed Ukraine was on hold. The immediate release of a $400 million military package, Taylor explained, was agreed upon unanimously "of every level of interagency discussion."
Taylor went on to tell House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff of California that a meeting to advise the president was "hard to schedule" because they were "on different trips at different times."