Retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman says he wasn't a "never-Trumper" before, but he's become one after coming under relentless attacks from President Donald Trump in the wake of his testimony before Congress during the impeachment trials earlier this year.
“In taking a very sober view of where this president is taking this country, the divisions, the catering to our adversaries, the undermining of national security interests, that I am absolutely a never-Trumper,” Vindman told NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt in an interview airing Monday.
Vindman said he is speaking out about the president in hopes of encouraging Americans to "choose an alternative to what we have" in Trump, and after the president "attacked and politicized me directly.”
Vindman had been the National Security Council's Ukraine expert before testifying as the Democrats' witness about what he heard on a call between Trump and Ukraine's president. In the call, Trump asked that an investigation into Joe Biden's son, Hunter, and his role with a massive Ukrainian energy firm.
Soon after, Vindman was dismissed from the White House and he has "no doubt" Trump ordered it. He also left the Army but says nobody told him he had to leave.
"If the president were not to be re-elected, for instance, I probably could have continued on but that's a huge if," he told Holt. "If he were to be re-elected, the joke was that I would end up in a radar station in Alaska."
Vindman, however, denies that he was the whistleblower who filed a complaint about Trump's call to Ukraine.
"I suspected it was illegal but I knew immediately was that it was wrong and it was my duty to report it," he told Holt, adding he doesn't know who the whistleblower was.
He also said it wasn't his role to decided if Trump should be impeached, but he suspected it, and he is not bitter or angry about his turn of fate.
"I've assumed to be, what I analyzed to be a significant amount of personal risk, reputational risk, to come out here and to talk to you, with one hope in mind and that hope is to share a perspective that could somehow inform an electorate going into the most important election of our lifetime, and maybe persuade them to choose an alternative to what we have, an alternative to four more years of disaster."
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