Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s former supervisor, Brig. Gen. Peter Zwack, took aim at Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) after the senator defended Vindman’s abrupt ouster by President Trump.
Graham said during an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday that Vindman’s reassignment was “justified” because he doesn’t think “he could be effective at the NSC.” Vindman formerly served as the National Security Council director for European affairs.
During the interview Sunday, Graham then appeared to suggest that Vindman was part of the deep state plotting against Trump.
When asked to respond to Graham’s comments during a CNN interview Monday, Zwack mocked the Trump ally, saying that “I guess that makes me a card-carrying member of the deep state.” Zwack said that he’s lost respect for Graham.
“This is ridiculous, okay? … Senator Graham, I’ve always had a lot of respect for you,” Zwack said. “I met you when you was in Afghanistan in 2008, when you arrived with Senator McCain and Joe Lieberman as part of the three amigos. We thought you guys were rock stars. Where are you now, sir?”
Earlier in the interview, Zwack said that Vindman is “hurt and insulted” and “uncertain about his future” following his ouster.
Zwack then seemed to take aim at Trump’s Saturday tweet that railed against Vindman for reporting the “contents of my ‘perfect’ calls” with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “incorrectly.”
“I think that seniors at a very, very high level should not dump that way publicly by statement or the God gun of a tweet in demeaning his personality,” Zwack said. “And the other thing that offends me greatly is so many other people have piled in that don’t even know him.”
When asked if he would classify Vindman’s ouster as “witness retaliation,” Zwack said that it was “punitive” and “didn’t need to be done that way.”
“He could have been allowed to say at least goodbye to his peers,” Zwack said. “He was not allowed… It was just insulting and offending and wrong.”
Watch Zwack’s remarks below:
Vindman's former supervisor defends him after firing pic.twitter.com/0KmxMxOpKe
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) February 10, 2020