Nov 19, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Vindman dismisses offer to become Ukraine's defense minister as "rather comical"

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman faced questioning from the House Intelligence Committee's Republican counsel Steve Castor during Tuesday's impeachment hearing about an offer to become Ukraine's defense minister, which Vindman denounced as "rather comical."

Why it matters: Vindman, the National Security Council's top Ukraine expert, has faced unsubstantiated cable news attacks questioning his loyalty to the U.S. because of the fact that he immigrated from Ukraine as a young child.

  • Castor's line of questioning touched on whether the offer, which came Alex Danylyuk, a former aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, was in Ukrainian or English. Vindman answered that it was the latter.
  • Vindman said he "immediately dismissed the offers" and "did not entertain them" — and testified that he reported them up his chain of command.

What he said: "Frankly, it's more important about what my American leadership, my American chain of command thinks. ... These are honorable people, I'm not sure if he meant it as a joke or not — but it's much more important what my civilian White House and National Security Council chain of command thinks more than anyone else."

  • "And, frankly, if they were concerned about me being able to continue my duties, they would have brought that to my attention."

Go deeper: Live updates from the Vindman-Williams impeachment hearing

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