The White House is blaming Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman for misleading reporters about the contents of an April 21 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
At the time of that first phone call a "readout" or summary of the call was provided to the press. The "readout" was prepared, according to the White House, by the NSC's "Ukraine expert"--which can only mean Alexander Vindman. According to that "readout", Trump
"underscored the unwavering support of the United States for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity – within its internationally recognized borders – and expressed his commitment to work together with President-elect Zelensky and the Ukrainian people to implement reforms that strengthen democracy, increase prosperity, and root out corruption."
However the just released transcript of the conversation reveals that Trump said none of those things. The call was basically an exchange of congratulations and pleasantries, with Trump assuring Zelensky that high level US officials would attend Zelensky's inauguration, and inviting Zelensky to visit Washington, D. C.
What's the significance of this? It appears that Vindman--who is scheduled to testify publicly next week--was putting into Trump's mouth an affirmation of "Interagency" Ukraine policy, to try to box Trump into a position that may not have been his own policy. But that was all invented by Vindman, who is almost certainly the source for Eric Ciaramella's "whistleblowing".
The affirmation of "unwavering support of the United States for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity – within its internationally recognized borders" would naturally put Trump in direct conflict with Russia. The claim that Trump had made such an affirmation, as witnessed by the provision of a "readout" in those terms to the press, would make it more difficult for Trump to deal freely with Putin.
The "commitment to work together with President-elect Zelensky and the Ukrainian people to implement reforms that strengthen democracy, increase prosperity, and root out corruption," might seem at first glance to be unobjectionable. However, in context, that could be construed by the "Interagency" to authorize continued support for George Soros funded NGO "anti-corruption" activist groups--whose true aim was to smear Soros' competitors in Ukraine. (Cf. Impeachment Theater #2, and The Swamp Of Ukraine Corruption--And The Dems)
If Trump strayed from the "Interagency" policies, damaging leaks could be fed to the press, claiming that Trump was overturning policy that had been settled by his own administration. Now we also see why Trump approved the policy to place these call transcripts on a separate secure server.
This could make for interesting "theater" when Vindman testifies next week.
White House releases transcript of first Trump-Zelensky call
Summary of earlier Trump-Zelensky call released
UPDATE 1: I've been reviewing the testimony of Timothy Morrison, who replaced Fiona Hill in July, 2019, as head of the NSC Eastern Europe desk--meaning, Morrison succeeded Hill as supervisor of Alexander Vindman. Without getting into extracts from the transcript of Morrison's testimony, a certain consistent theme re Vindman jumps out:
1. During the transition of leadership, Morrison and Hill discussed the current status of the Eastern Europe desk, strengths and weaknesses--and personnel.
2. Hill told Morrison that she had concerns about Vindman's "judgment," obviously meaning that he exercised bad judgment and that Vindman was suspected of being a leaker.
3. Morrison testified that Vindman--who testified that "chain of command" was important to him--repeatedly failed to stay within the "chain of command".
4. Morrison was admonished not to provide a full answer to questions regarding examples of Vindman's disregard for the "chain of command" for the specific reason that a full answer might lead to identifying the "whistleblower".
5. In other words, Morrison is in possession of information that would show that Vindman was sharing information with Eric Ciaramella that Ciaramella was not entitled to have.
UPDATE 2: More from the Morrison transcript. Vindman was "not included", i.e., was excluded from foreign trips and was not allowed at meetings on certain (unspecified) policy areas, because of his "bad judgment" on who to share information with. Morrison also made sure that he never spoke with Vindman one-on-one. He was always careful to have someone else present when he spoke with Vindman.