Army providing 'supportive assistance' to Vindman during impeachment inquiry
Vindman is receiving “supportive assistance” from the Army amid his role in the impeachment inquiry and as he draws public attention, a Defense Department official said Tuesday as Vindman testified on Capitol Hill.
“The Army is providing supportive assistance to help Colonel Vindman with the public attention,” said Col. Kathy Turner, an Army spokeswoman.
She wouldn’t elaborate on that assistance, such as safety or security measures.
“As a matter of practice, the Army would neither confirm nor deny any safety or security measures taken on behalf of an individual; however, as we would with any soldier, the Army will work with civilian authorities to ensure that he and his family are properly protected,” Turner said.
According to The Associated Press, the Army and local law enforcement are providing security for Vindman. This comes after the Army conducted a security assessment to assess whether Vindman and his family are secure, the official told the AP.
A U.S. official told NBC News that the Army will put necessary measures in place to ensure Vindman can serve his country. The official said that some of the options for security could be moving Vindman and his family to a military base.
The U.S. official, however, said there is no imminent threat to Vindman.
Vindman says he’s seen changes at work due to his role in inquiry
Responding to questions from Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., about whether they’ve been treated differently at their respective jobs in the weeks since their roles in the impeachment inquiry became public, Vindman and Williams answer differently.
While Williams replied, “I have not,” Vindman said he has.
“I did notice I was being excluded from several meetings that would have been appropriate for my position,” he said.
When asked by Speier whether he felt those exclusions merited “reprisals” for his role, Vindman said, “I’m not sure if I could make that judgment.”
Vindman added, however, that it was “out of the course of normal affairs.”
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.