Medal of Honor recipient MSG Leroy Petry defended President Donald Trump’s decision to fire LTC Alexander Vindman, saying that Vindman had shown he couldn’t be trusted.
Petry made an appearance on Sunday morning’s “Fox & Friends” and responded to the news that Vindman had been fired from his post on the National Security Council and escorted from the White House.
“I respect Donald Trump’s actions on escorting him out of the White House because he, as a team player, he should have brought it up through the chain of command and then blown the whistle if it didn’t get approved,” Petry began. “So, exactly my insight is, I would fired him too, I can’t trust you on my team, if you can’t bring me things you don’t agree with.”
Petry went on to address the fact that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and numerous others — including Vice President Joe Biden on the New Hampshire debate stage — had lauded Vindman as a hero.
“I think this,” Petry said. “I respect his service, I understand he is Purple Heart recipient. Being a Purple Heart recipient doesn’t make somebody a hero. I’m sorry.” (RELATED: Trump Says Vindman Ousted Because He Was ‘Insubordinate’ And ‘Had Problems With Judgement’)
“I appreciate your candor,” host Pete Hegseth, also an Army veteran, jumped in. “Wearing the uniform doesn’t make you immune from criticism especially on the National Security Council, it has now been identified you’re probably a part of leaking, certainly a part of concerted effort to hurt the president.”
Hegseth then pointed out what many have in the president’s defense: that every member of the National Security Council serves “at the pleasure of the president” and can be reassigned for any reason the White House chooses.
Petry went on to explain that Vindman, according to friends who had been with the lieutenant colonel in Ranger School, had referred to him as a “chow thief” and had not thought highly of him even then. “In ranger school, [they] said he couldn’t be trusted. They tried peering him out. They said, ‘Well, I guess it hasn’t changed much.’ Usually folks that try to make a big statue of something, what we call spotlighters in the military, trying to highlight themselves as a hero or doing something great. and you could do something great just doing your job.”
Hegseth jumped back in then to “translate” some of the military jargon Petry had used to describe Vindman, saying, “Chow thief, meaning that when there is limited food, you’re taking some so you can have some and your buddies don’t. Spotlight ranger is someone who, when the spotlight is on, you do a great job when spotlight is off, you’re not necessarily helping your buddies. And peered out means your fellow peers are voting against you to graduate from that particular school.”