Rep. Dan Kildee had no patience for Fox News' smear of Lt. Col. Vindman, nor Republicans' blind loyalty to Donald Trump in the face of overwhelming evidence.
October 29, 2019

If nothing else comes out of today's round of cable talk, let this message come through loud and clear: John Yoo's despicable smear of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman crosses a line. Fox News walked over the line when they allowed that remark to go out over the air unchallenged and legitimized by silence.

Rep. Dan Kildee joined CNN's Kate Bolduan to discuss Vindman's statement, clearly denouncing Republicans choosing to blindly follow Donald Trump down the path of personal destruction in the name of Dear Leader.

Kildee first addressed Vidman's opening statement. "My first reaction is that I was reading the words of a true patriot," he told Bolduan. "A person who's dedicated his life to the national security of this country, who himself serves in uniform, put himself in harm's way, suffered battle wounds and earned a purple heart and continued his patriotism by questioning those above him."

"And raising this issue with his superiors, that the President of the United States put political interests, his own personal political interests ahead of national security," he continued. "This is the act of a patriot."

Turning to the John Yoo criticism, he implored Republicans:

And to hear some try to denigrate this individual, including the President himself, to try to denigrate this individual as some sort of a political operative, is absolutely pathetic. And I ask my Republican colleagues, at long last, please have a moment of conscience. Look yourself in the mirror and ask if you want to sit on the sidelines while the president tries to take down a patriot, who earned a purple heart. And compare that to the president's service to our country, the fact that he was willing to dodge the draft by getting a letter from a doctor. He's going to criticize this young man, who's doing his patriotic duty? Shame on the president of the United States.

At least one Republican has denounced the despicable smear that Vindman is some kind of spy: Liz Cheney.

“I want to say a word about something that’s been going on over the last several hours and last night which I think is also shameful. That is, questioning the patriotism, questioning the dedication to country of people like Mr. Vindman, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman who will be coming today, and others who have testified. I think that we need to show that we are better than that as a nation. Their patriotism, their love of country, we are talking about decorated veterans who served this nation who have put their lives on the line and it is shameful to question their patriotism, their love of this nation, and we should not be involved in that process.”

One Republican. Meanwhile, Sean Duffy rolled onto CNN earlier to add his voice to the swarm of slimers. As Bolduan noted, they are "questioning his patriotism for no other reason than the fact that his family fled the Soviet Union to come to the United States when he was 3 years old to seek a better life."

Bolduan also noted that Vindman's twin brother and older brother also serve the United States. "I'm just saying, where is the line when it comes to the character of people who came forward to speak what they believe is their truth?" she asked with obvious concern.

"There are far too many of these Republicans who believe that they swore an oath and an allegiance to Donald Trump," Kildee replied. "And they seem to be willing to attack anyone, to ignore any fact, to overlook any misdeed, because they placed their greatest loyalty to their dear leader, Donald Trump."

He continued, "This is a very frightening moment, to see these people sit quietly, not only attacking this individual or being quiet while others do. That's bad enough. But to ignore the plain facts that this patriot brought forward. That the president sacrificed American national security because he wanted a foreign country to investigate his opponents, because he's fearful of a fair and square election."

It's not just that he's fearful. It's that he's an authoritarian whose loyalties are divided between himself and the people he owes. The loyalties we should question don't rest with Lt. Col. Vindman. It's Donald Trump's loyalties which are in grave doubt.

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