Vindman Blows Hole In Trump’s Professed Reason For Holding Back Military Aid

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 19: National Security Council Director for European Affairs Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman reads an opening statement before the House Intelligence Committee in the Longworth House Office Buildi... WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 19: National Security Council Director for European Affairs Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman reads an opening statement before the House Intelligence Committee in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill November 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony during the third day of open hearings in the impeachment inquiry against U.S. President Donald Trump, whom House Democrats say held back U.S. military aid for Ukraine while demanding it investigate his political rivals and the unfounded conspiracy theory that Ukrainians, not Russians, were behind the 2016 computer hacking of the Democratic National Committee. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, testified Tuesday that for all of President Donald Trump’s professed concern about rooting out Ukrainian corruption, he didn’t bring it up on his two calls with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Faced with accusations of leveraging a quid pro quo — military aid in exchange for investigations into the Bidens and the 2016 election — Trump and his allies have fallen back on the excuse that the money was withheld due to concerns about widespread corruption in Ukraine.

Daniel Goldman, staff counsel for the House Intelligence Committee Democrats, asked Vindman if Trump brought up corruption in his April 21 call with Zelensky, a congratulatory call shortly after the latter’s election.

The White House readout of that conversation included that the men discussed reforms to address the country’s endemic corruption. When the White House’s rough transcript of the call was released soon after the readout, devoid of any mention of corruption, administration officials laid the blame at Vindman’s feet.

Vindman testified on Tuesday that the White House description of the call was “not entirely accurate,” since Trump did not mention corruption at all. He also confirmed that Trump didn’t bring up Ukrainian corruption during the July 25 call with Zelensky either.

“So when the President says now that he held up security assistance because he was concerned about rooting out corruption in Ukraine, that concern was not expressed in the two phone conversations that he had with President Zelensky earlier this year. Is that right?” Goldman asked.

“Correct,” Vindman responded.

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  1. All of this is good stuff - laying down a foundation of truth. Makes it harder for the shit the cons are slinging to stick to the wall.

    But I’m with the smart money saying the damn is going to break with Sondland. He’s going to turn big, and turn hard.

    Tomorrow will be a deal breaker.

  2. The RWNJ talking points are imploding faster than they can make up new ones.

  3. Vindman’s sincerity and fidelity to the truth comes through as he searches for the accurate words in a rather unpolished way. He knows he’s in this hearing but also being broadcast widely. It would make anyone nervous and tepid!

  4. I missed that part. The WH appeared to blame Vindman for the false NSC readout of the April call, yet later in the hearings Vindman said it is a separate PR outfit of the NSC that does the summaries (referring to the July call).

    WH Hogan Gidley: “It is standard operating procedure for the National Security Council to provide readouts of the President’s phone calls with foreign leaders. This one [April] was prepared by the NSC’s Ukraine expert.” … That expert is Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman (according to CNN)

    Did Vindman specifically deny responsibility for the false April readout?

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