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 VindmanPresident Trump's intelligence community security blanket Whistleblower's lawyer questions GOP senator's whistleblower protection caucus membership White House limits number of officials allowed to listen to Trump calls with foreign leaders: report 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 JohnsonGraham vows Biden, Ukraine probe after impeachment trial GOP warns of 'drawn out' executive privilege battle over Bolton testimony  Senate Republicans confident they'll win fight on witnesses 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 TrumpWarren: Dershowitz presentation 'nonsensical,' 'could not follow it' Bolton told Barr he was concerned Trump did favors for autocrats: report Dershowitz: Bolton allegations would not constitute impeachable offense 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 JordanBolton upends Trump impeachment trial  Government privacy watchdog under pressure to recommend facial recognition ban Jordan says he thinks trial will be over by next week MORE (R-Ohio).