Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the NSC official who is giving impeachment inquiry testimony damning to President Donald Trump’s cause Tuesday, has become the target of xenophobic attacks from the right-wing echo chamber due to his childhood emigration from Ukraine.
But in a film of Ken Burns’ 1985 “America” series, spotted by the eagle-eyed Philip Bump of the Washington Post, the Vindmans are revealed to have such a compelling and classic story as to be featured in “Statue of Liberty,” an ode to the immigrant’s American dream.
The famed documentarian was pounding the pavement of 1980s New York when he came upon an older woman sitting on a bench in Brighton Beach with young twin boys: Alexander and Yevgeny Vindman. The family had come from the then-Soviet Union. The boys would both one day serve in the Army and now work at the National Security Council.
Their storybook American dream has not been enough to sate the appetites of Trump’s most rabid acolytes, however. Born in the cauldron of Fox News, the idea of Vindman’s testimony springing from some kind of dual loyalty has now filtered through right-wing circles, with the likes of Laura Ingraham calling into question Vindman’s patriotism due to his far-flung birthplace.
Trump and his cronies espousing xenophobic dislike of all but the whitest, most western-European-est immigrants isn’t new. But it’s still startling to watch them attack one who, along with his Purple Heart, has a made-for-TV American story to his name.
Watch the Vindmans featured in the documentary via the Washington Post here: