Senior NSC official Timothy Morrison, who is the former boss of Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman, testified on Tuesday that Vindman’s bosses had numerous concerns and problems with him.
GOP counsel Steve Castor said, “You had indicated in your deposition that when you took over the [Ukraine] portfolio for Dr. Hill July 15 that you were alerted to potential issues in Colonel Vindman’s judgement?”
“Yes,” Morrison responded.
“Did she relay anything specifically to you why she thought that?” Castor asked.
Morrison responded that the concern apparently came from multiple officials and was an overall general concern about his judgment.
“Did any other NSC personnel raise concerns with you about Colonel Vindman?” Castor asked.
“Yes,” Morrison responded.
Morrison’s lawyer stopped Morrison from giving an in-depth response over the concerns that the other officials had about Vindman.
Morrison later confirmed that multiple other officials were concerned that Vindman was potentially leaking sensitive information to the media.
Morrison also confirmed that Vindman did not keep him in the loop about all the things that he was doing in the job and that Vindman went behind his back and did not inform him about the concerns that he had about President Donald Trump’s July 25 phone call with the president of Ukraine.
“If he had concerns about something about the content of the call, that’s something that I expected that I would have been notified of,” Morrison said. “I also think as a matter of practice, since we both went to the lawyers, we didn’t both need to.”
“At any point subsequently, did [Vindman] become frustrated that he felt cut out of some of the Ukraine portfolio?” Castor asked.
“Yes,” Morrison responded, adding that Vindman was upset that he was not invited on a trip to Ukraine.
Top official Tim Morrison said Alexander Vindman’s bosses had a lot of concerns about him:
-Did not keep his bosses in the loop on what he was doing
-Went around his bosses’ backs
-Was mad he was cut out of working on Ukraine pic.twitter.com/Z9qgSVs9dt
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) November 19, 2019
“Morrison said in his closed-door testimony that he was concerned the July 25 call transcript between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would leak and could have negative ramifications,” CNN reported. “But he also made the point that he saw nothing wrong with the July call.”
“I want to be clear, I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed,” Morrison said. “I feared at the time of the call on July 25th how its disclosure would play in Washington’s political climate. My fears have been realized.”
During his testimony on Tuesday, Vindman testified that Ukraine repeatedly tried to hire him to be Ukraine’s defense minister and that it would have been a “great honor” to serve in that position but that he couldn’t because he said his loyalties lied with the United States.
Vindman was also criticized by many over how he reacted to Rep. Devin Nunes accidentally calling him “Mr. Vindman,” instead of “Lt. Col. Vindman.”
Many took Vindman’s snap at Nunes, in which he told Nunes to refer to him as “Lt. Col. Vindman,” as a sign of arrogance. Vindman later said that he reacted that way because people said mean things about him on Twitter.
Vindman was also repeatedly grilled by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who questioned Vindman’s behavior, saying, ““Here’s what I’m getting at, the lawyer told you don’t talk to any other people and you interpret that as not talking to your boss, but you talked to your brother, you talked to the lawyers, you talked to Secretary Kent, and you talked to the one guy Adam Schiff won’t let you tell us who he is.”
“Is that right?” Jordan asked.
“I did my job,” Vindman said in defense.