Alexander Vindman Says Trump’s Call With Zelensky Was His “Worst Fear”

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

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“My worst fear of how our Ukraine policy could play out was playing out.” That’s how Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman described what was going through his head while he was listening to President Donald Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that’s at the heart of the House’s impeachment inquiry.

The moment came while Rep. Sean Maloney (D-N.Y.) was questioning Vindman, who is the Ukraine expert on the National Security Council. “Frankly, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing,” Vindman said. “Now this was likely to have significant implications for US national security.” Maloney asked him why he immediately reported the phone call and Vindman replied, “because that was my duty.”

Throughout Vindman’s testimony in front of the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, the Republican line has been to question Vindman’s loyalty to Trump, which has caused worries about his safety. Meanwhile, the White House’s twitter account has been pushing the familiar GOP narrative that Vindman is another “Never Trumper” who is not to be trusted: 

But despite efforts to question Vindman’s judgement and loyalty—Trump even questioned why he was wearing his military uniform, echoing a talking point from right-wing outlets that Vindman was wearing it as a stunt—Maloney praised his dedication to his duty and reminded him of what he said to his dad in his opening statement:  “Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth.”

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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