Ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes attempts to get Lt. Col. Vindman to discuss who in the intelligence community he talked to about Trump’s phone call.
USA TODAYWASHINGTONÂ â€“ President Donald Trump said Tuesday he doesn’t know the National Security Council expert who told lawmakersÂ that Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky was inappropriate.But Trump stopped short of repeating his claim that Lt. Col. AlexanderÂ Vindman is a “Never Trumper.””I don’t know Vindman at all,” Trump said during a cabinet meeting at the White House. “I never heard of him.”Trump’s remarks came as a House committee was conducting another impeachment hearing in which Vindman was one of the witnesses. Vindman, who listened to Trump’s call with Zelensky, told lawmakers Tuesday he knew without hesitation that he had to report his concerns about the conversation to White House lawyers.â€œIt was inappropriate,â€ Vindman said. â€œIt was improper for the president to request, to demand an investigation into a political opponent, especially a foreign power where there is at best dubious belief that this could be an impartial investigation and that this would have significant implications if it became public knowledge.â€President Donald Trump at today’s Cabinet meetingÂ (Photo: MANDEL NGAN, AFP via Getty Images)Vindman said that given the “power disparity” between the United States and Ukraine, it was clear that Trump’s request for investigations was more of a demand.At the White House, Trump said he briefly watched Vindman’s testimony.Â “I’m going to let people make their own determination” about Vindman’s remarks, he said.Trump faced a backlash from Democrats and RepublicansÂ last week after he tweeted negative remarks about Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, while she was testifying before the House Intelligence Committee.Yovanovitch was testifying in the second public hearing of the impeachment inquiry into allegations that Trump used military aid as leverage to pressure Ukraine into opening investigations that stood to benefit him politically. As she testified about her removal as ambassador,Â Trump tweeted: “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go?”Yovanovitch told Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., that she found theÂ tweet “intimidating.”Schiff called the tweet “witness intimidation.”More: The Trump impeachment inquiry in picturesMore: Impeachment hearings: the latest on the Trump impeachment proceedings and what it meansRead or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2019/11/19/impeachment-donald-trump-claims-he-doesnt-know-lt-col-vindman/4236754002/