Fmr. Army colonel who starred as Trump impeachment witness whines about lack of support from the military
It seems like eons ago, but amid all the misery produced during 2020, congressional Democrats did impeach President Donald Trump at the beginning of this year.
Now, one of the star witnesses in that case has re-emerged in the spotlight to gripe about how he was treated after coming forward against the president.
Retired Army Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman was on CNN Tuesday to complain about how Pentagon leaders responded to his efforts to oust the sitting commander in chief.
Vindman was one of several officials who listened to Trump’s July 2019 phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. But he was the only one who thought Trump’s comments were improper and took his concerns to the “whistleblower” whose allegations launched the whole investigation and trial that ended with Trump’s acquittal.
During that conversation, Trump shared concerns about widespread corruption within Ukraine, and requested that Zelensky look into ties people in his country had to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election. He then raised the issue of former Vice President Joe Biden pulling the plug on a corruption investigation involving his son Hunter. Democrats claimed Trump was specifically targeting Biden and threatening to withhold aid in order to get the country to cooperate.
On Tuesday, CNN’s Bianna Golodryga, after suggesting he was a victim, asked Vindman, “Did the top brass in the military do enough to support and protect you?”
<div style=”width: 100%; max-width: 640px;max-height: 360px; min-width: 320px; min-height: 180px; overflow: hidden;”><div style=”position: relative; width: 100%; padding-top: 56.25%;”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://embed.air.tv/v1/iframe/G6vvkiJBQHCPkPIoQa7a0Q?organization=N31PjPuhS0uTDRuuYOUkVA” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen style=”position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; max-width: 640px; max-height: 360px;”></iframe></div></div>
Vindman answered that “at no point” after he came forward against Trump did any civilian or military leader within the Pentagon contact him to let him know he was in “good standing” or that his career as a soldier would “move forward as normal.”
Burnett then asked Vindman, a Ukrainian national who immigrated to the U.S. as a child fleeing Soviet oppression, what his message would be to other immigrants who would look at him and say, “You were right, and you were punished for doing the right thing?”
Vindman replied that he had “no regrets,” adding, “I was able do my part, defend this nation in a very meaningful manner and expose corruption by the chief executive. I feel in that regard I have served my nation.”
He also said the president acts more like a “highly impulsive” child than exhibiting the “normalcy” expected of our leaders.
Perhaps Golodryga should have explored why those Pentagon leaders were unwilling to come to Vindman’s side.
During his impeachment testimony, Vindman expressed concern that “outside influencers” in Ukraine were “promoting a false and alternative narrative of Ukraine inconsistent with the consensus views” of the U.S. foreign policy establishment. That, he continued, was “harmful to U.S. national security” and “undermined U.S. Government efforts to expand cooperation with Ukraine.”
In other words, Vindman, who was offered the job of being Ukraine’s top defense official, didn’t like that Trump was running foreign policy in Ukraine differently than his predecessor, bypassed the chain of command to torpedo the commander in chief on dubious, politically motivated grounds, and violated longstanding military protocol by publicly airing his grievances.
As one unidentified former Trump National Security Council official told the Washington Examiner last year, “How is an active-duty military officer allowed to go to a different branch of government to take down the president with scurrilous claims? I think the Army should be very concerned about what this means for discipline in the force. Basically, you have a political disagreement so you vomit mutiny.”