Ret. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman spoke out about his experiences with the Trump administration during a new appearance on MSNBC, laying out some of the exact consequences with which he’s living in the wake of retaliation from the then-president and certain allies of his over Vindman’s impeachment testimony. Vindman was on the National Security Council when he listened into an infamous phone conversation between Trump and the Ukrainian president as it unfolded; on that call, Trump tried to pressure Ukraine into pursuing investigations politically favorable to the Trump camp, and Vindman shared the truth of these exchanges with Congressional investigators working on the first Trump impeachment. Subsequently, Vindman was fired from the National Security Council, and the Trump administration jumped in to try and meddle with his then-impending promotion.
CNN reported that Vindman “was told by senior Army officials that he would no longer be deployable in his area of expertise, which includes Ukraine.” Vindman has now sued a slew of Trump’s minions, including Donald Trump Jr. and Rudy Giuliani, for conspiring to threaten the exercise of his civil rights, alleging that they violated the Ku Klux Klan Act, which forbids the usage of threats or force against the exercise of certain rights. On MSNBC, Vindman commented as follows:
‘I had the privilege to attend a dear friend’s promotion to colonel today, and hear about his future [and] how he’s going to continue to contribute to U.S. national security, and that’s something that I had to give up, or was forced to give up, because of retaliation by the former administration, by the president and really his enablers, and that’s where we’re going after — his enablers. Because without those enablers, he’s a hollow man. He’s not capable of actually realizing his plots. But we should recognize that doing the right thing oftentimes has to be — it should be a choice based on the merits. It should not be because you’re going to get a reward [or] you’re going to suffer severe consequences, especially if it’s in an important situation like what I had to experience.’
Check out Vindman’s comments below:
In a previous appearance on CNN, Vindman said that he believes his lawsuit constitutes “a critically important effort to hold accountable corrupt officials, close relatives, and [the] inner circle for Donald Trump in their effort to stifle the duties of an official in the U.S. government,” adding that his original ordeal “had an enormous chilling effect on both the folks that would come forward to report wrongdoing in that administration, but it was also intended to suppress officials in the conduct of their duties.” After Vindman’s firing from the National Security Council, Trump tweeted that he didn’t “know him, never spoke to him, or met him (I don’t believe!),” but that wasn’t the end of it. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) even questioned how “patriotic” that Vindman was because of an unverified allegation that he spoke derisively about the United States with Russians, and as the then-president, Trump retweeted Blackburn’s comment.
Hmm. Stephanie Grisham says Trump was confused why staffers weren't excited about the rioters "fighting" for him on January 6. https://t.co/ws9gc1o7j5
— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) February 7, 2022
Vindman, an expert in Ukraine-related matters, has also credited Trump with helping Putin believe that he has an opening to launch further aggression against Ukraine. As he previously put it, discussing the timing of Russian officials’ recent actions targeting Ukraine, it’s “mainly because of a sense of opportunity, a sense of weakness within the United States.” Vindman added: “I have every reason to believe that if we had not had an insurrection on January 6, because of President Trump, President Putin would not believe that there’s an opportunity, there’s a vulnerability in the United States. The hyper-polarization that Trump continues to nourish in the United States helps… [Putin] has major talking heads on Fox News, like Tucker Carlson, pandering to his interests, drawing false equivalencies between the U.S. and Russia. Really kind of fanboying over authoritarianism.”
I received a briefing this morning from @DeptofDefense on the situation in Ukraine and, without going into the classified details, I’ll just say this: it was disturbing. 1/6
— Rep. Elissa Slotkin (@RepSlotkin) January 20, 2022