The uncertain fate and public beatings of these officials created a difficult situation for the White House, which is going through an impeachment process. Trump's desire to fire them was not realized, but, nevertheless, he made it clear that he considered them undesirable.
This is one of the constant anomalies of the impeachment investigation: most witnesses who express concern about Trump’s approach to Ukraine remain at his work, despite his claims that they are “Never Trumpers” and his clear assumptions that their already fired.
So far, none of them has clearly been fired by Trump, although he and his allies suggest the opposite. This created a strange and uncomfortable situation for employees who say that they are not clear about the future of their colleagues in the administration.
At the weekend, there was a discussion in the Republican Party that Trump could well choose his team, in response to a public statement by Jovanovic about the slanderous campaign organized by Trump's allies to push her off her post in Kiev.
“America hired @realDonaldTrump to fire people as the first three witnesses we saw,” tweeted President Donald Trump Jr.'s son when Jovanovic began her testimony. "A career for government officials and nothing more."
A day later, Trump himself suggested on Twitter that he had already fired three State Department employees who appeared at a public impeachment hearing, citing conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh.
“You chose Donald Trump to drain the Swamp.” “That's how it looks,” Trump wrote with reference to Limbaugh.
The message gave the impression that Trump fulfills the promise of the campaign by removing those who testified of their problems. But as of Monday, all three people named in his tweet remain hired by his administration. Kent and Taylor are still in their posts, and although Jovanovic took up a post at Georgetown University after being recalled, she remains an employee of the State Department.
According to administration officials, Trump did not take formal steps to order the expulsion of these officials from the government; instead, he expressed an opinion on how they were allowed to work for him. In the Taylor case, Trump attacked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who personally called on Taylor to resign when Jovanovic was recalled.
At a press conference on Monday, when asked if the president trusted Taylor, Pompeo objected.
“The State Department is doing a fantastic job. I think that we have achieved what the Obama administration has not delivered to Ukraine, ”Pompeo said, refusing otherwise to say that the High Envoy to Ukraine was still in the good grace of the president,
He offered full support to his staff as they resisted the attacks of the president and his allies.
“I always protect the staff of the State Department. This is the greatest diplomatic corps in the history of the world. I am very proud of the team, ”he said, without refuting any claims of Trump.
Warned Against Action
At the beginning of the impeachment process, when witnesses came to deliver closed evidence on Capitol Hill, Trump's advisers warned him against taking measures to fire the speakers. They warned that his actions could be perceived as a retaliatory strike and could be used by democrats in drafting articles about impeachment.
But now, the strength of this advice is being tested by television hearings and the public release of private interviews. Trump watched the hearings intermittently and spent hours of news coverage later.
On Sunday, Trump hit another witness, Jennifer Williams, an employee of the State Department, who was leased to the vice president's office as a foreign policy adviser. The president tweeted: “Tell Jennifer Williams, whoever it is, to read the WALLPAPES of transcripts of presidential calls and see the text (sic) from Ukraine just released. Then she should meet with other Never Trampers whom I donated do not know, and in most cases did not even hear, and developed the best presidential attack! "
Answering a question about Twitter, Vice President spokesman Mike Pence said only: “Jennifer is an employee of the state department.” The State Department did not comment.
Although Pence’s office distanced himself from Williams in public, White House sources said that Williams still enjoys the support of his team, including Chief of Staff Mark Short and boss Williams, General Keith Kellogg, who serves as Pence’s national security adviser.
“She is a key part of the team,” said a White House spokesman.
At the moment, Williams, who was informed in detail at the Pence office of the State Department earlier this year, is expected to remain in office. However, “there is no chance” that Pence will come forward to protect Williams, the official added.
“It became clear in the press that he was distancing himself from the“ deep state, ”the official said.
Less clear is the fate of Windman, who will appear at an open hearing on Tuesday morning with Williams. Windman, chief Ukrainian expert at the National Security Council, expressed concern about Trump's phone call in July with the Ukrainian president to lawyers of the National Security Council.
The additional testimony of Tim Morrison, a former senior director of the Council on European and Russian Languages, suggested internal concerns about the suitability of Windman for this work. Morrison said he was warned about Windman's sentence from his predecessor Fiona Hill.
Like many members of the National Security Council, Windman was informed by an agency from the Department of Defense, where he served as a foreign officer. His twin brother, Lieutenant Colonel Eugene Windman, was also appointed to the council as a lawyer and accompanied Alexander Windman when he expressed his concerns to White House lawyers.
Following his testimony, some White House officials examined the issue of moving both men back to the Pentagon, according to people familiar with the matter. But it is not clear when this can happen. And Alexander Windman's lawyer recently said that his details at the National Security Council did not expire until next summer.
Speaking to CBS earlier this month, National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien said Windman was likely to return to the Pentagon, but stated this as part of his big effort to reduce the size of the National Security Council.
“We are optimizing the National Security Council. There are people who are detailed from different departments and agencies. I understand that Colonel Windman is detailed from the Department of Defense, ”he said. “In this way, everyone who talks in detail at the NSC, people will begin to return to their own departments.”
He did not specify whether this step would occur earlier than planned, and insisted that this was not tantamount to retribution for Windman's testimony.
“I never took revenge on anyone,” said O & # 39; Brian.
CNN's Alex Marquardt contributed to this report.