Vindman says Giuliani’s efforts did not ‘help’ U.S. foreign policy
Vindman testified that Guiliani’s work in the Ukraine and efforts to open investigations into the Bidens was not part of and did not help official U.S. foreign policy.
“It certainly wasn’t helpful and it didn’t help advance U.S. national security interests,” he told Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala.
This is not the first time a witness has said this, but it underscores the Democrats’ claim that this was an unusual, off-the-books operation that is not a part of any official administration policy, but designed to help the president’s re-election.
Trump: GOP 'absolutely killing it' during hearing
Trump told reporters that he thought Republicans were "killing it" at the impeachment hearing today.
“I just got to watch” the hearing and Republicans “are absolutely killing it,” he said. He said Democrats are using this as a political game and touted his poll numbers.
When NBC News asked if he found Vindman — whose testimony was still ongoing as the president met with his Cabinet — to be a credible witness, Trump said that he had watched the hearing for just a “little while” prior to the meeting, but “had never heard of him.”
“I don't know him,” Trump said. “I never saw the man. ... What I do know is that even he said the transcripts were correct.”
Williams ‘surprised’ by president's 'never Trumper' attack, Vindman responds he’s ‘never partisan’
When questioned by Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., Williams said she did not expect to be attacked by Trump, who called her testimony a “presidential attack” and dubbed her a “never Trumper.”
“It certainly surprised me. I was not expecting to be called out by name,” she said before saying she is not biased against the president.
Himes also asked Vindman if he was a "never Trumper," to which he replied, “I am a 'never partisan.'”
Himes also excoriated the Republicans for questioning Vindman’s loyalty to the U.S., saying it’s a new low from the GOP to try to cast such doubt on someone who won medals after being wounded in front-line combat.
Jordan suggests Vindman had contact with the whistleblower
Responding to questions, Vindman acknowledged that he had discussed the July 25 call with two people.
The first person, he said, was George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state who worked on Ukraine and five other countries.
Before he addressed who the second person was, his attorney interrupted to say Vindman won’t say who the second person is other than to say the person is in the intelligence community.
Schiff then, once again, instructed everyone present that “this committee will not be used to out the whistleblower.”
Trump tweets out new impeachment ad
Vindman brings receipts to respond to allegation he had bad judgment
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, asked Vindman about comments from Tim Morrison, another NSC official, who expressed skepticism about Vindman’s judgment.
Vindman responding by reading a recent performance review filed by Trump’s former top Russia analyst Fiona Hill, which praised his abilities and labeled him a top military official.
VIndman also said he “never” leaked any information.
“Never would,” Vindman said. “Preposterous I would do that.”
White House: Nothing to see here
White House officials working on impeachment rapid response say this is the "Democrats’ hearing dud."
One official said the testimonies "have been nothing more than an endless debate over two individuals’ personal opinions about a call that every American can read for themselves."
"This is a debate over minutiae – neither witness has actually provided any facts about the president taking any improper action," the official said. "No one has testified about anything the president actually did."
"This entire political circus has been about personal opinion and conjecture," the official added.
And we're back
The short break has ended. The 5-min round for members to ask questions will now begin alternating between Democrats and Republicans.
Castor asks Vindman about being offered Ukrainian defense post
Castor asked Vindman whether he was offered the post of Ukrainian defense minister by Ukrainian politician Oleksandr Danyliuk.
Vindman said it occurred three times, but that he dismissed the offers immediately and reported them to his superiors and to counterintelligence authorities.
“I turned it down every time,” he said.
Castor’s questions appear to be a clear effort to discredit the allegiance of Vindman — who was born in Kyiv, then part of the USSR, and fled with his family to the U.S. as a child.
Several conservatives have used the same tactic, including multiple Fox News personalities.