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 VindmanImpeachment sets up Ukrainian Americans for 2020 political role Director of National Intelligence Maguire should stand for the whistleblower Adam Schiff's star rises with impeachment hearings 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 JohnsonSenate braces for brawl on Trump impeachment rules Trump, GOP shift focus from alleged surveillance abuse to Durham Russia probe Here are the Senate Republicans who could vote to convict Trump 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 John TrumpLawmakers release defense bill with parental leave-for-Space-Force deal House Democrats expected to unveil articles of impeachment Tuesday Houston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence 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 JordanTrump, first lady take part in National Christmas Tree lighting The Hill's Morning Report - Dem impeachment report highlights phone records Lawmakers to watch during Wednesday's impeachment hearing MORE (R-Ohio).