Former Vice President Joe Biden on Friday called for the Democrat primary debate audience in New Hampshire to give a standing ovation for Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman hours after he was removed from the National Security Council by the White House.
“Col. Vindman got thrown out of the White House today, walked out,” Biden said. President Trump “should have been pinning a medal on Vindman and not on Rush Limbaugh.”
Biden just had probably his most memorable moment of this campaign, calling on attendees at the #democraticdebate to stand in support of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who was fired today from the National Security Council. pic.twitter.com/XcoXgsk9N6
— Liam Martin (@LiamWBZ) February 8, 2020
“I think we should call stand and give Col. Vindman a show of how much we support him,” the former vice president added. “Stand up and clap for Vindman!”
Earlier Friday, Vindman, the NSC’s Ukraine expert, was escorted out of the White House and told his services were no longer needed. CNN reported that Vindman’s twin brother, Yevgeny, an ethics attorney on the NSC, was also terminated and escorted from the White House. Vindman listened in on the July 25 telephone between President Trump and Ukrainian and was a key witness in the House Democrats’ partisan impeachment inquiry.
Testifying before the House Intelligence Committee, Vindman criticized the Trump-Zelensky call and alleged that he did not know the identity of the whistleblower, whose complaint sparked the impeachment investigation.
“I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine,” Vindman told lawmakers.
“I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and [gas company] Burisma, it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play, which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained,” he continued.
“This would all undermine U.S. national security,” he added. “Following the call, I again reported my concerns to NSC’s lead counsel.”
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and several other Republicans have accused the now-fired NSC staffer of leaking details of the call to the whistleblower.
“Alexander Vindman broke the chain of command and leaked the contents of the President’s July 25th phone call to his pal, the ‘whistleblower.’ Over a policy dispute with the President! How is that not vindictive?” the Tennessee Republican said last month.