- Retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key witness in President Donald Trump's impeachment investigation, said he now considers himself a "Never Trumper" – an accusation the president made the veteran, according to his testimony in Congress.
- Vindman appeared on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt on Monday to discuss the Ukraine scandal and the impeachment investigation against Trump.
- He told Holt that it wasn't bitterness or anger that forced him to speak out against Trump for the interview.
- He said he spoke out in the hope of "sharing a perspective that could somehow inform and perhaps convince a constituency going into the most important elections of our lives to choose an alternative to what we have, an alternative to four more years of disaster. " ""
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Retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key witness in President Donald Trump's impeachment investigation, said he had become "absolutely" a "Never Trumper" in the face of the president's attacks against him.
Following Vindman's congressional testimony for the President's impeachment investigation, Trump accused the decorated veteran of being a "Never Trumper". When then-Connecticut MP Jim Himes asked if Vindman identified with the term, he replied, "I would never call myself partisan."
In an interview with NBC News' Lester Holt, Vindman said he now considers himself a "Never Trumper" and added that he had joined the administration in hopes of doing my job, hoping to help the US move forward national security interests. "
"Regardless of the government, I would just try to do my best to advance national security interests," Vindman told Holt, "but I think when the president attacked me directly and politicized me, I think very soberly about where this lies. " President takes this country, the divisions, the supply of our opponents, the undermining of national security interests, I am absolutely a "Never Trumper". "
Vindman and his twin brother were both ousted from their positions on the National Security Council earlier this year.
In July, Vindman retired from the army after more than two decades. Vindman's attorney David Pressman said Fox News The veteran's decision to retire was because "it was made clear that his future within the institution he has dutifully served will be forever limited."
"Nobody told me I had to go," Vindman Holt said during the NBC News interview. "Indeed, if the president weren't re-elected, for example, I probably could have gone on, but that's a huge if."
"If he got re-elected, the joke would be that I would end up on a radar station in Alaska."
Vindman also alleged in an interview with NBC News that the White House leaked classified information about him to GOP Congressmen in order to smear him.
During his congressional testimony, Republicans lawyer Steve Castor on the House Intelligence Committee asked Vindman if the Ukraine-born Ukrainian national security advisor asked if Ukraine-born Vindman would work as the country's defense minister.
"This memorandum that I classified was leaked to the Republicans by the White House, a classified memo to trip me," Vindman told NBC News. "It could only have come from one place, could only have come from the White House."
Castor told NBC News that he denied getting the information from the White House but didn't make it clear where it came from.
In response to the interview, National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot described Vindman as "a disgruntled ex-detailee who seeks publicity and makes unfounded allegations" NBC News report.
However, Vindman said it wasn't bitterness or anger that forced him to speak out against Trump, which could put him "at significant personal and reputational risk."
He said he spoke out in the hope of "sharing a perspective that would somehow inform and perhaps convince a constituency going into the most important elections of our lives to choose an alternative to what we have, an alternative to four more years of disaster. " ""
—NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) September 14, 2020