Alexander Vindman Says He Is ‘Absolutely’ a ‘Never-Trumper’ Now

Retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman is sharing his thoughts about President Donald Trump. Vindman, a key impeachment witness and formerly the National Security Council’s top Ukraine expert, was asked during an NBC News interview with Lester Holt that aired Monday if he is a “never-Trumper.” In response, Vindman said he served the administration “with the hopes of being able to advance U.S. national security interests,” but things have changed. “I can say now that I am a Never-Trumper,” he said. He continued to say that he “was not a never-Trumper before, I was nonpartisan.” Vindman also claimed that Trump is “catering to our adversaries”: “Regardless of what administration, I would just try to do the best I could to advance national security interests, but I think as the president’s attacked and politicized me directly, in taking a very sober view of where this president has taken this country, the divisions, the catering to our adversaries, the undermining of our national security interests, that I am absolutely a Never-Trumper.” Vindman served as the National Security Council’s top Ukraine expert until February. When Vindman announced his retirement from the military in July, his lawyer said he “was bullied by the President and his proxies” and was faced with a “campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation” for testifying during the House of Representative’s impeachment probe of Trump. See Vindman’s comments below: WATCH: Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman addresses President Trump's suggestion that he is a "never Trumper."Vindman tells @LesterHoltNBC that he was nonpartisan, but says now he is "absolutely a 'never Trumper.'"More from the exclusive interview tonight on @NBCNightlyNews. pic.twitter.com/aT5pf35qhS — NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) September 14, 2020 Vindman also spoke about the president during an interview with The Atlantic recently, where he questioned if he thinks Trump is an “asset of Russian intelligence.” “President Trump should be considered to be a useful idiot and a fellow traveler, which makes him an unwitting agent of Putin,” Vindman answered. He also said of Trump, “He has aspirations to be the kind of leader that Putin is, and so he admires him. He likes authoritarian strongmen who act with impunity, without checks and balances. So he’ll try to please Putin.”

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Vindman Calls Trump a ‘Useful Idiot’ and ‘an Unwitting Agent of Putin’

A key impeachment witness, Alexander Vindman, says he believes President Donald Trump has an affinity for strongmen and will “try to please” Russian president Vladimir Putin because he “admires him.” In an interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, Vindman was asked if he believes that Trump is an “asset of Russian intelligence.” “President Trump should be considered to be a useful idiot and a fellow traveler, which makes him an unwitting agent of Putin,” Vindman responded. Vindman told Goldberg that by “fellow traveler,” he views Trump as someone who has a disdain for democratic norms. He was also asked if he believes Russian officials have blackmail on Trump, to which he said, “They may or may not have dirt on him, but they don’t have to use it.” He continued: “They have more effective and less risky ways to employ him. He has aspirations to be the kind of leader that Putin is, and so he admires him. He likes authoritarian strongmen who act with impunity, without checks and balances. So he’ll try to please Putin.” According to Vindman, the Army has a term for this kind of situation, “In the Army, we call this ‘free chicken,’ something you don’t have to work for—it just comes to you. This is what the Russians have in Trump: free chicken.” Vindman, who served as the National Security Council’s (NSC) top Ukraine expert until February, retired from the Military in July, as IJR reported. In a statement announcing his retirement, Vindman’s lawyer claimed his client faced a “campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation” for his testimony during House Democrats’ impeachment proceedings against the president.  “LTC Vindman did what the law compelled him to do; and for that he was bullied by the President and his proxies. And yet, LTC Vindman would not be intimidated and will not b corrupted. He did what he has always done: put the interests of his country ahead of his own,” the statement added. BREAKING: Lt. Col. Vindman, Trump impeachment inquiry witness, is retiring from military, lawyer says:“Through a campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation, the President… attempted to force LTC Vindman to choose: Between adhering to the law or pleasing a President.” pic.twitter.com/un48mu9Pj7 — MSNBC (@MSNBC) July 8, 2020 In August, Democratic lawmakers urged the acting Pentagon Inspector General Sean O’Donnell to investigate whether Vindman was fired in retaliation for his testimony.

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