There is "nothing normal" about Republicans' attacks on a witness like Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council official who is testifying before members of Congress about what he heard while listening on a telephone call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Sen. Joe Manchin said.
"It's just despicable," the West Virginia Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "I don't know what else to say on that. I don't know what to say. The great service people that we have that are willing to do whatever it takes to keep this country safe, and to denigrate in such a manner is not who I am, not how I was raised, not who I am as a West Virginian."
Vindman, who was born in Ukraine, served in the Iraq war and is now the NSC's lead official on Ukraine. After news broke that he was to testify that he had listened in on Trump's July 25 call with Zelenskiy and reported that he was concerned when he heard comments made about Ukraine investigating Joe Biden, comments about his honesty began, including with a Fox News guest who speculated Monday that Vindman could be engaged in "espionage."
"There's nothing normal about this," Manchin said. "I'm more concerned with (Rudy) Giuliani's surrogate role as basically being our state spokesperson or statesperson. It's just wrong. It's just so wrong for him to be in that position."
Meanwhile, Manchin said he has no problem with the pace of the impeachment inquiry.
"When you look back at (Richard) Nixon, at (Bill) Clinton, there's been a time-lapse when they start getting information in the inquiry before they went to a formal vote on impeachment," said Manchin. "It looks like everything is pretty much what's been done in the past and nothing seems to be different there, but I understand, it's a different atmosphere that we live in today."
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