Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman snapped at Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) during Democrats’ impeachment inquiry on Tuesday for not using his full military title when Nunes addressed him. Vindman later suggested that he did so because people said things that were not nice to him on Twitter.
The incident happened after Vindman admitted that he told someone in the intelligence community about Trump’s Ukraine phone call. Nunes asked Vindman to identify which intelligence agency the individual that Vindman leaked to belonged to. Here is the subsequent exchange:
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff: If I could interject here, we don’t want to use these proceedings —
Nunes: It’s our time.
Schiff: I know, but we need to protect the whistleblower. I want to make sure that there’s no effort to out the whistleblower through these proceedings. If the witness has a good-faith belief that this may reveal the identity of the whistleblower, that is not the purpose that we are here for, and I want to advise the witness accordingly.
Nunes: Mr. Vindman, you testified in your deposition that you did not know the whistleblower.
Vindman: Ranking member, it’s Lieutenant Colonel Vindman. [emphasis added]
Nunes: Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, you testified in the deposition that you did not know who the whistleblower was.
Vindman: I do not know who the whistleblower is.
Nunes: How is it possible for you to name these people and then out the whistleblower?
Vindman: Per the advice of my counsel, I have been advised not to answer specific questions about members of the intelligence community.
Nunes: Are you aware this is the Intelligence Committee that’s conducting an impeachment hearing?
Rep. Devin Nunes refers to Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman as "Mr. Vindman."
— ABC News (@ABC) November 19, 2019
Later, Vindman explained why he snapped, saying, “I’m in uniform, wearing my military rank, I just thought it was appropriate … the attacks that I’ve had in the press and in Twitter have marginalized me as a military officer.”
Alexander Vindman says he got abrasive with Jim Jordan for not referring to him with his full military title because of what people were saying about him on Twitter pic.twitter.com/4ljH3IJUkx
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) November 19, 2019
Many saw Vindman’s remarks as a sign of arrogance and said that it made him look bad.
Laura Ingraham tweeted: “That is revealing. Not in the way the media and their Dem pals think.”
Phil Valentine tweeted: “What an arrogant ass.”
Jon Gabriel tweeted: “All enlisted people just rolled their eyes. We’ve all had to report to this guy.”
Randy Barrett tweeted: “Award him the Barbara Boxer Prize for Committee Decorum.”
Sean Davis tweeted: “Multiple combat veterans have told me they are livid at this attitude from Vindman, at his use of the uniform as a prop for the cameras, and at his obvious scheming against and insubordination towards his chain of command.”
Bernard Kerik tweeted: “Every enlisted service member in the United States military just looked at this guy and said, what a dick! That arrogance is why he believed he could dictate foreign policy over President [Donald Trump].”
Mark Geist tweeted: “Vindman is a disgrace to all who have served. Transcript of his previous closed door testimony he clearly admits to undermining the @POTUS foreign policy and now he has chairman Schiff advising him on how to answer questions. @codeofvets #treason #traitor #POS #conductunbecoming”
Robert J. O’Neill tweeted: “I wish the left wouldn’t use his uniform to make him a saint. He’s an operative with an agenda.”