White House, Trump associates trash Lt. Col. Vindman's testimony

Vindman serves as director of European Affairs on the National Security Council at the White House and listened in on the July 25 phone call between Trump and Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE
By Rebecca Shabad

Several members of President Donald Trump’s White House, re-election campaign and his family trashed Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman on Tuesday as he testified publicly that the infamous July 25 phone call between Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart was “improper.”

Dan Scavino Jr., who serves as assistant to the president and director of social media at the White House, suggested that Vindman has dual loyalty to Ukraine after Vindman confirmed that he was offered a position as defense minister in Ukraine three times.

Scavino tweeted, “#ICYMI: Lt. Col. Vindman was offered the position of Defense Minister for the Ukrainian Government THREE times! #ImpeachmentSHAM."

Vindman, however, made clear that he is had no intention of entertaining these opportunities.

Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.

"I'm an American ... and I immediately dismissed these offers. I did not entertain them," Vindman said during the third impeachment hearing before the House Intelligence Committee. "The whole notion is rather comical."

Scavino's tweet was retweeted by the president himself on his official account and by other Trump associates including Kayleigh McEnany, national press secretary for Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign.

Vindman serves as director of European Affairs on the National Security Council at the White House and listened on the July 25 phone call between the two leaders.

The president’s elder son, Donald Trump Jr., tweeted about Vindman appearing to “stammer” through his testimony.

“Anyone listening to Vindman stammer through this seemingly trying to remember the Catch Phrases he was well coached on should get that. He’s a low level partisan bureaucrat and nothing more,” he said.

Trump Jr. also joined GOP efforts to suggest that Vindman knows the identity of the whistleblower who exposed what occurred during the July 25 phone call, even suggesting that Vindman lied to Congress.

“Didn’t he testify he had no idea who the whistleblower was? Sounds like perjury to me... but don’t worry he will get away with it because he’s pushing the Democrat’s agenda. Vindman Just Admitted To Leaking To The Anti-Trump Whistleblower,” he tweeted.

Even the official White House Twitter account implied that Vindman had contact with the whistleblower.

“Vindman made it clear that he gave information about President Trump’s phone call with President Zelensky to an unnamed individual. Schiff shut down questioning about the unnamed individual to 'protect the whistleblower.' But neither one knows who the whistleblower is?”

Republicans repeatedly attempted to ask questions of Vindman that focused on the whistleblower whose identity they and the president have been seeking to reveal. Ranking member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, suggested during the hearing that Vindman had contact with the whistleblower. Vindman, however, testified in his closed-door deposition last month that he doesn’t know the person’s identity.

Vindman only said Tuesday that he had spoken with someone within the intelligence community.