President Donald Trump criticized a White House official who testified behind closed doors Tuesday regarding concerns of the president’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, around which the impeachment inquiry launched by Democrats revolves.
Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, director on the National Security Council (NSC), testified before the House Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs committees on Tuesday, Oct. 29.
Vindman’s prepared opening statement argued that, as someone who also heard the call, he was concerned about the president’s request to the Ukrainian president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, but President Trump immediately dismissed the allegation on Twitter, according to Fox News.
President Trump slammed Vindman in a series of tweets where he stressed that it’s impossible that the Army lieutenant colonel has any idea of what he was talking about on the phone call since he wasn’t on the call, and stressed that he wouldn’t say anything inappropriate before people.
“Why are people that I never even heard of testifying about the call?” President Trump tweeted. “Just READ THE CALL TRANSCRIPT AND THE IMPEACHMENT HOAX IS OVER!”
“Supposedly, according to the Corrupt Media, the Ukraine call ‘concerned’ today’s Never Trumper witness. Was he on the same call that I was? Can’t be possible! Please ask him to read the Transcript of the call, Witch Hunt!” the president continued.
“How many more Never Trumpers will be allowed to testify about a perfectly appropriate phone call when all anyone has to do is READ THE TRANSCRIPTS! I knew people were listening in on the call (why would I say something inappropriate?), which was fine with me, but why so many?” President Trump lamented.
Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, testified on Oct. 17 to state that there was no favors involved between the two presidents on the phone call, despite accusations by Democrats that the president withheld millions of dollars in military aid to pressure Ukraine into investigating a political opponent.
The phone call then prompted a whistleblower complaint that eventually resulted in an impeachment inquiry filed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the inquiry being led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Fox News reports.
“The President has been crystal clear: no quid pro quo’s of any kind,” Sondland wrote. “The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelenskiy promised during his campaign.”
Presidents Trump and Zelensky have stated that no pressure was applied to Ukraine to investigate the Biden family.
President Trump insisted that there was “no quid pro quo” and Zelensky said that there was “no blackmail” and the purpose of the phone call was simply to arrange a meeting with President Trump.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham pointed out last week that Democratic lawmakers should have hearings held in public view rather than behind closed doors.
The Fox host said on “The Ingraham Angle” that sources familiar with the testimony said that diplomat Bill Taylor, one of the witnesses who appeared to testify, has “zero firsthand knowledge or direct evidence of the quid pro quo” regarding President Trump and his conversation with the Ukrainian president.
Ingraham also pointed out how having clandestine meetings gives Democrats an edge to get witnesses that are most beneficial to them.
“The closed-door shuffle allows Democrats to preset the theme of each witness, spin the secret testimony, cherry-pick then leak the phrases most favorable to their impeachment narrative,” the Fox host said.
President Trump also retweeted Ingraham’s post on Twitter who explained, “[President Trump] has zero idea how many career staff working inside the Admin” would be “working 24/7 to undermine his agenda.”