Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman lived the American dream: he came to the U.S. as a toddler fleeing oppression in the Soviet Union and found not only a better life but a chance to serve his country, including in combat. But on Tuesday, Republicans used one of the oldest and ugliest smears about Vindman and cast the Army officer, who was wounded in combat in Iraq, as conflicted between his loyalties to the country he serves and the one he fled.
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During Tuesday’s impeachment, Republican counsel Steve Castor repeatedly brought up the offer by Oleksandr Danyluk, Ukraine’s former national security adviser, to make Vindman Ukraine’s defense minister. Vindman said “Every single time I dismissed” the offer for a job in Ukraine’s cabinet and “upon returning, I notified my chain of command and the appropriate counterintelligence folks about this.” Danyluk has since said he was only joking about the offer.