- Ret. Lt. Col. Alex Vindman called Trump a “vile man” who hurt the US more than any other leader in recent history.
- He told the Washington Post that Trump “attempted to launch an insurrection.”
- “In fact, he was the one that was trying to steal the election from President Biden, who was lawfully elected,” Vindman said.
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A former lieutenant colonel in the Army who testified in then-President Donald Trump’s first impeachment inquiry said this week that Trump is a “vile man” who did more “damage to the United States than any other leader in recent US history.”
Retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman made the comment in an interview with the Washington Post Live, where he said Trump still poses “an enormous threat” to the US and democracy as a whole.
Vindman previously served as the top Ukraine expert on Trump’s National Security Council. He made headlines in 2019 when he recounted in minute detail his firsthand knowledge of Trump’s efforts to strongarm the Ukrainian government into launching bogus political investigations targeting Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
During Congress’ impeachment inquiry, Vindman testified at length about a July 25, 2019 phone call between Trump and Zelensky that was the linchpin of Trump’s first impeachment. Vindman said he was “concerned” by what he heard and that it was “inappropriate” and “improper” for Trump to demand that a foreign government investigate his political opponent, and that Trump’s efforts undermined US national security.
Vindman and his twin brother, Yevgeny, privately raised concerns about Trump’s actions through the proper NSC channels, and both men were sacked from the White House days after Trump’s Senate impeachment trial. Vindman, who served in combat in Iraq, retired after in the face of what his lawyer called a White House “campaign of bullying, intimidation and retaliation” that could have affected his Army career.
In his interview with the Post on Thursday, Vindman said that he was “a reluctant actor on the political stage” and that he was “drawn in kicking and screaming.”
He said that he didn’t want to participate in “purely partisan engagements, but at the same time, I can make cold, hard calculations about the threat” Trump poses.
“He continues to pose a key threat based on propagating this lie that the election was stolen,” when “in fact he was the one that was trying to steal the election from President Biden, who was lawfully elected,” Vindman said. “He attempted to launch an insurrection,” he “continues to drive a wedge between the American public, on the left and right, and demonizes the Democratic Party, or anybody that’s not a supporter of his.”
Vindman added: “He’s a vile man that has done more damage to the United States than any other leader in recent US history.”
Trump, for his part, continues insisting the election was “rigged” and stolen from him. In the final months of his presidency, Trump engaged in a prolonged effort to get the Justice Department to announce that the election was plagued with widespread voter fraud, even though the attorney general publicly said there was no evidence to support the claim. In fact, nonpartisan election and cybersecurity experts have said the election was the safest and most secure in US history.