Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman: ‘I would say I’m now a Never Trumper’
One of the key witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment hearings says he has become a “Never Trumper.” Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman told NBC News that, following his official retirement from the military, he is now proud to carry that label.
“I joined the president’s team. I joined this administration, well into this administration, with the hopes of being able to do my job, with the hopes of being able to advance national security interests,” Vindman told NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt. “I could say I’m now a Never Trumper. I was not a Never Trumper before. I was non-partisan.”
Vindman was the national security officer listening in on Trump’s phone call with Ukraine leader Volodymyr Zelensky when the president asked Ukraine to look into Joe Biden and his son Hunter. He said that he believed what the president was doing wasn’t right and so he reported it. He also claims that he doesn’t know who the whistleblower actually was.
Trump fired Vindman in February from the National Security Council and had him escorted out of the White House two days after the Senate acquitted him. His twin brother, Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, was also ousted from the NSC at the same time.
Vindman had served for 21 years in the military but retired because the incident ruined his reputation and he felt his military service would be very limited moving forward.
“Regardless of the administration, I would just do the best that I could to advance national security interests, but I think as the president attacked and politicized me directly, in taking a sober view of where this president is taking this country, the divisions, the catering to our adversaries, the undermining of our national security interests that I’m absolutely a Never Trumper,” Vindman said.
The former national security officer says that he was put between the president and the Constitution.
“I had to choose between the president and the Constitution. I was aware of the fact that I could be compelled to testify. But I chose the Constitution. No Army officer wants to be put in that position, but there I was,” he said.
Vindman says that he believes it’s important for him to speak up because he believes Trump has made the country weaker.
“I was drawn into this by the president, who politicized me. This could happen to any honorable service member, any government official,” he said.
PHOTO: THE ASAHI SHIMBUN VIA GETTY IMAGES
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