Alexander Vindman, a decorated Iraq war veteran, who was on Donald Trump’s call in which he pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate his political rival Joe Biden, is testifying before the House impeachment inquiry today.
The NYT reports: ‘Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman of the Army, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, twice registered internal objections about how Mr. Trump and his inner circle were treating Ukraine, out of what he called a “sense of duty,” he plans to tell the inquiry, according to a draft of his opening statement obtained by The New York Times.’
Wrote Vindman in his opening statement: “I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine. I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained.”
Monday night, ahead of his testimony, FOX News’ Laura Ingraham and CNN’s recently hired commentator Sean Duffy attempted to smear Vindman.
Ingraham suggested that the decorated Iraq war veteran is a Ukrainian double agent, and John Yoo threw out the word “espionage.”
Said Ingraham: “Here we have a U.S. national security official, who is advising Ukraine while working inside the White House apparently against the president’s interest and usually, they spoke in English. Isn’t that kind of an interesting angle on this story?”
Added Yoo: “I find that astounding. Some people might call that espionage.”
Oh my God, look at the spin they are using right now, actually saying that Vindman is a Ukrainian double agent….this is so freaking bananas pic.twitter.com/ritg9QcNgV
— KRK (@Page1ANews) October 29, 2019
Said CNN’s John Berman, about the Ingraham clip on New Day: “What you are about to see is disgusting.”
New CNN hire Sean Duffy went after the same talking point on Tuesday morning: “It seems very clear that [Vindman] is incredibly concerned about Ukrainian defense. I don’t know that he’s concerned about American policy, but his main mission was to make sure that the Ukraine got those weapons. I understand that. We all have an affinity to our homeland where we came from. Like me, I’m sure that Vindman has the same affinity or like Mark Meadows.”
Responded Berman: “Are you suggesting that you would put Irish defense over U.S. Defense? Is that what you’re saying?”
Added Duffy: “So are we saying that by giving this money to the Ukraine that absolutely is the money that’s going to secure American national defense against Russia? I don’t believe that. And so he’s entitled to his opinion. He has an affinity I think for the Ukraine. He speaks Ukrainian, and he came from the country and he wants to make sure they’re safe and free.”
Sean Duffy on CNN on Army Lt. Col. Vindman: "It seems very clear that he is incredibly concerned about Ukrainian defense. I don't know that he's concerned about American policy … we all have an affinity to our homeland where we came from … he has an affinity for the Ukraine." pic.twitter.com/dlsYlTnCwR
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 29, 2019
A few reactions on Twitter to the smear attempt: