Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key witness in the Trump impeachment probe, said in an interview airing Monday that he is “absolutely” a so-called “Never Trumper.”
“I think as the president’s attacked and politicized me directly, 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 said in an interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt.
Vindman, who served as director of European affairs on the National Security Council, testified at the Trump impeachment hearings regarding Trump’s policies towards Ukraine. Vindman listened in on a phone call on July 25, 2019 that Trump had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Vindman told Congress that he believed Trump abused his power in the phone call by pressuring Zelensky to investigate whether the Ukrainian government helped Democrats during the 2016 election. Trump also made reference in the phone call to an investigation into Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
Trump has publicly criticized Vindman, who was fired from the National Security Council in February, after the Senate voted to acquit Trump following his impeachment trial.
Trump tweeted that Vindman was fired from the National Security Council for being “insubordinate.” He accused Vindman of providing inaccurate testimony to Congress about the phone call with Zelensky.
Vindman, who retired from the U.S. Army in July, insisted in the NBC News interview that he initially did not oppose Trump.
“I joined this administration well into this administration with the hopes of being able to do my job, with the hopes of being able to advance U.S. national security interests,” he said.
“I could say that I’m now a Never Trumper. I was not a Never Trumper before.”