“Vindman was the guy that, when we took him out of the building, the whole building applauded,” Mr. Trump said. A senior National Security Council official said later that Mr. Trump’s description was accurate, but did not say he had firsthand knowledge of it.
David Pressman, a lawyer for Colonel Vindman, did not address a question about the applause, but said in a statement that the “continued public attacks by the president of the United States on an active-duty officer in the military are designed to intimidate and to punish.” He added, “By using the power of his office to repeatedly humiliate and punish those following the law, the president is encouraging breaking the law.”
Mr. Trump also suggested during the radio interview that he could stop the tradition of allowing numerous national security officials to listen to his phone calls with foreign leaders, as Colonel Vindman did with the Ukraine call. “I may end the practice,” Mr. Trump said. “I may end it entirely.”
The changes at the White House will bring familiar faces back to the West Wing. Always obsessed with the threat of leaks, Mr. Trump has become more concerned about loyalty since a whistle-blower came forward last year to express concerns about the Ukraine call.
Ms. Hicks, 31, worked on Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign from its inception and followed him to the White House, eventually becoming communications director. Her return will come as his re-election campaign intensifies and as his advisers say the superstitious president has talked about recreating some aspects of that first race.
Ms. Hicks’s title when she left belied her influence with Mr. Trump, who felt more personal comfort with her than with almost any other adviser. A senior administration official said that Ms. Hicks would work on projects that Mr. Kushner oversees, including the re-election campaign. She will not rejoin the communications office.
“There is no one more devoted to implementing President Trump’s agenda than Hope Hicks,” Mr. Kushner said in a statement. “We are excited to have her back on the team.”