Fox News Host Says Testimony of National Security Council's Ukraine Expert Is Just 'One Person's Opinion'

Alexander Vindman
Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council, arrives at a closed session before the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees October 29, 2019 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty

Fox News host Brian Kilmeade said Monday morning that the testimony of Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council's expert on Ukraine, was "just one person's opinion."

The Fox & Friends host disparaged the expert testimony during a segment on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump with fellow hosts Ainsley Earhardt and Steve Doocy. The president currently faces the prospect of an impeachment vote on whether a request he made of the Ukrainian president to investigate a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, constituted soliciting foreign election interference.

Vindman is a U.S. Army officer who is the current Director for European Affairs for the United States National Security Council. He was called to testify last Tuesday before investigators in the House of Representatives about Trump's phone call with the Ukrainian president in July.

"I was concerned by the call," Vindman said in the opening statement of his testimony. "I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government's support of Ukraine."

Vindman also testified that "multiple important words and phrases" were left out of the memo of the July phone call between the two national leaders.

Kilmeade's remarks on Monday were not the first time the TV personality has called Vindman's credibility—and even his allegiance—into question. As Kilmeade previously remarked, Vindman was born in Ukraine, and his family left the country when it was part of the Soviet Union and immigrated to America. Both he and his brother, Yevgeny, have served in the U.S. military. Vindman was awarded a Purple Heart for injuries he sustained fighting in the Iraq War. He is also a graduate of Harvard University.

Changing his tone Monday, Kilmeade remarked "I think going after the character doesn't work," indicating that attempts to paint Vindman as dishonest would not benefit Republican efforts to defend Trump. "You could also just say, 'There's more coming out on him, let's find out, that's one person's opinion, but it's not the White House attorney's opinion. It's not the president's opinion. It's not the ambassador of the European Union's opinion. It's not [former U.S. Ambassador to NATO] Kurt Volker's opinion.' Do you understand? It's all sides."

Last week, Kilmeade defended remarks he previously made implying that Vindman was a double agent, ostensibly loyal to the United States but really working for Ukraine. Another Fox News host, Laura Ingraham, has also implied that Vindman may be a spy for a foreign power.

Trump himself has called Vindman a "Never Trumper"—someone who would oppose the president on everything—and said he had "never even heard of" him.

Brian Kilmeade advises Trump & the GOP that attacking Alexander Vindman's character "doesn't work," and they should "just say 'there's more coming out about him, let's find out,'" and that Vindman's testimony is "just one person's opinion."

— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) November 4, 2019