Biden: Trump should be pinning a medal on Vindman, not Limbaugh
Former Vice President Joe Biden praised Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman after the official was escorted out of the White House Friday.
“And by the way, Colonel Vindman got thrown out of the White House today, got walked out. [President Trump] should have been pinning a medal on Vindman and not on Rush Limbaugh,” Biden said during the 2020 primary debate in New Hampshire, referring to President Trump’s awarding of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to conservative talk radio host Limbaugh during Tuesday’s State of the Union address.
“I think we should all give Colonel Vindman a show of how much we supported him. Get up a clap for Vindman,” Biden said, sparking a standing ovation from the crowd.
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) February 8, 2020
The remark came after Vindman was escorted out of the White House on Friday and told to leave his position at the National Security Council (NSC).
Vindman was a key witnesses who testified during the House’s impeachment inquiry about Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s president, during which Trump discussed investigations of former Biden and his son’s dealings in Ukraine.
Vindman’s attorney later said in a statement that his client was dismissed for his testimony.
“There is no question in the mind of any American why this man’s job is over, why this country now has one less soldier serving it at the White House,” David Pressman, Vindman’s attorney, said in a statement. “LTC Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth. His honor, his commitment to right, frightened the powerful.”
Former Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who also testified in the House’s investigation, was dismissed Friday, as well.
Republican allies of the White House have maintained that Trump was only seeking to mitigate corruption in a country known for government misconduct, and insist that the former vice president abused his power by working to oust a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating an energy company with ties to Hunter Biden.
However, officials who testified in the House’s impeachment investigation said Biden was acting on behalf of official U.S. foreign policy in pushing for the dismissal, and the prosecutor’s investigation of the energy firm was reportedly long dormant before he was removed from his position in Kyiv. No evidence has emerged to suggest either Biden committed any wrongdoing in Ukraine.
Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, another 2020 Democratic contender, came to Biden’s defense, slamming Republicans for using Hunter Biden as a “weapon.”
“We are not going to let them change the subject. This is not about Hunter Biden or Vice President Biden or any Biden, this is about an abuse of power by the president. The vice president and I and everyone else are competing, but we’ve got to draw a line here,” he said during Friday’s debate.
“And to be the kind of president, to be the kind of human being who would seek to turn someone against his own son, who would seek to weaponize a son against his own father, is an unbelievably dishonorable thing that is just one more example of why we as a party have to be completely united to do whatever it takes, at the end of the day, to make sure that this president does not get a second term,” he concluded.