Former Bush aide defends Vindman, criticizes GOP congressmen for 'defaming' him

Former George W. Bush aide Elise Jordan blasted congressional Republicans on Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” for “defaming” White House Ukraine adviser Lt. Col. Alexander VindmanAlexander VindmanOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right Ex-Trump adviser Bolton defends Milley: 'His patriotism is unquestioned' MORE ahead of his testimony.

Jordan, who is now a political analyst on NBC and MSNBC, took issue with a letter Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGOP senator: Buying Treasury bonds 'foolish' amid standoff over debt ceiling, taxes Internal poll shows Barnes with 29-point lead in Wisconsin Democratic Senate primary Wisconsin Democratic Senate candidate facing 4 felony charges MORE (R-Wis.) sent to House Republicans questioning Vindman, who testified before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. Jordan noted that Vindman was an "Iraq War hero who was so distinguished at his job that he was detailed to the National Security Council," adding that it is "prestigious, it is difficult, it is the pinnacle of a career in service to serve at the National Security Council."

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"It doesn't matter what your service to your country has been. You can be literally wounded in battle, and yet you are suddenly, if you don't fall in line with the cult, you are at traitor," Jordan said.

In the letter, Johnson implied Vindman was one of a "number of bureaucrats and staff members within the executive branch have never accepted President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right MORE as legitimate and resent his unorthodox style and his intrusion onto their 'turf.'"

"They react by leaking to the press and participating in the ongoing effort to sabotage his policies and, if possible, remove him from office. It is entirely possible that Vindman fits this profile," Johnson said.

In his testimony Tuesday, Vindman strongly denied leaking to the media when questioned by Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanAllies see rising prospect of Trump 2024 White House bid Republican leaders misjudged Jan. 6 committee Watchdog group seeks ethics probe over McCarthy's Jan. 6 comments MORE (R-Ohio).