U.S. President Donald Trump fired two officials who testified in the impeachment case - an expert on Ukraine at the National Security Council, Lt. Col. Alexander Windman, and US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland. It is reported by CNN.
An adviser to Trump said the firings of the major impeachment witnesses was meant to send a message that siding against the President will not be tolerated.
"Flushing out the pipes," the adviser told CNN. "It was necessary."
The dismissals appear to be retribution for Vindman and Sondland's explosive testimonies to the House impeachment probe late last year, both of which were done under subpoena. The duo gave some of the most damning testimony to House impeachment investigators during last fall's public hearings and quickly became targets for Trump's supporters, both inside and outside of government. The firings come two days after the Senate voted to acquit Trump on two articles of impeachment in votes that were largely along party lines.
Trump had continued to fume privately about Vindman's testimony during the impeachment inquiry and foreshadowed his dismissal earlier Friday.
"Well, I'm not happy with him," Trump said. "You think I'm supposed to be happy with him? I'm not."
Sondland's ties to the White House and Trump had deteriorated since his testimony. A person familiar with the situation says Sondland's ties to the White House and Trump had frayed badly since he testified last year. He once had Trump effectively on speed-dial, or the presidential equivalent of it, but since his appearance he hasn't spoken with Trump. He was also pulled from overseeing the Ukraine portfolio, which wasn't directly related to his position as EU ambassador.