November 19, 2019

TO BE FAIR, THE TRUMPBOTS WERE TRIGGERED...:

The GOP counsel's xenophobic attack on Vindman's patriotism:Perhaps the grossest moment of the impeachment hearings to date. (Zack Beauchamp,   Nov 19, 2019, Vox)

Steve Castor, the Republican attorney, tried to [discredit him) by asking Vindman about a visit to Ukraine for Zelensky's inauguration earlier this year. He specifically focused on a job offer Vindman received from Oleksandr Danylyuk, the former head of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council. Apparently, Danylyuk offered Vindman an opportunity to become Ukraine's defense minister three times during the trip -- and, each time, Vindman declined.

"Upon returning, I notified chain of command and the appropriate counterintelligence folks about this, the offer," Vindman said.

But Castor wasn't satisfied. He continued to press Vindman on whether he ever considered the offer, resulting in an exchange in which he appeared to call Vindman's patriotism into question:

CASTOR: Ukraine's a country that's experienced a war with Russia. Certainly their minister of defense is a pretty key position for the Ukrainians. President Zelensky, Mr. Danylyuk, to bestow that honor -- at least asking you -- that was a big honor, correct?

VINDMAN: I think it would be a great honor, and frankly I'm aware of service members that have left service to help nurture developing democracies in that part of the world. It was an Air Force officer that became minister of defense, but I'm an American. I came here when I was a toddler. And I immediately dismissed these offers. Did not entertain them.

CASTOR: When he made this offer to you initially, did you leave the door open? Was there a reason he had to come back and ask a second or third time?

VINDMAN: Counselor, you know what, the whole notion is rather comical that I was being asked to consider whether I'd want to be the minister of defense. I did not leave the door open at all.

CASTOR: Okay. But it is pretty funny for a lieutenant colonel of the United States Army, which really isn't that senior, to be offered that illustrious a position. When he made this offer to you, was he speaking in English or Ukrainian?

VINDMAN: He is an absolutely flawless English speaker.

Castor is arguing that Vindman's loyalties were strained by repeated job offers from the Ukrainians, but also that Vindman was offered a prestigious position that he doesn't deserve (he "isn't really that senior") seemingly because of his background. Castor then highlights Vindman's Ukrainian language skills, reminding everyone that he's foreign-born. The insinuation, that Vindman's background makes him an unreliable witness to Trump's malfeasance, is reasonably clear.


...by his uniform, which stands for everything their leader despises.



Posted by at November 19, 2019 1:11 PM

  

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