Republican senators tried to offer some advice, but President Trump reportedly didn't think much of it.
Sondland was told to resign by State Department officials Friday, but refused and was ultimately fired. A group of Republicans in Congress' upper chamber, including Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), and Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), had advised against it to no avail, believing the decision would look bad for the White House and create political backlash. Sondland provided damaging testimony during the House's impeachment inquiry, so his removal has been viewed by many as a Trump revenge tactic.
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The senators also reportedly thought the firing was unnecessary because Sondland had already communicated with senior officials about leaving his post after the Senate impeachment trial concluded.
Trump on Saturday also defended his decision to remove another impeachment witness, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, from the National Security Council. Vindman is reportedly seen less sympathetically by Republicans, so he didn't receive the same kind of effort from senators to preserve his post. Collins, though, did say she was opposed to the White House going forward with any kind of retribution against witnesses. Read more at The New York Times and CNN.
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