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MSNBC's Wallace calls out 'chickens--t' Trump allies for attacks on Vindman

MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace on Tuesday night condemned the "smear campaign" being orchestrated against a top White House official who testified in the House's impeachment inquiry, saying that commentators questioning Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman's allegiance to the U.S. were "chickenshit."

The comments from Wallace came after a day in which multiple outspoken Trump supporters raised concerns about Vindman, a Ukrainian American immigrant and Iraq War veteran, over reports that Ukrainian officials sought advice from him. 

Wallace noted on MSNBC that the attacks against Vindman were "remarkable" considering his life story and military service. Her program then transitioned to comments Fox News hosts Laura IngrahamLaura Anne IngrahamTucker Carlson debuts his first major streaming show on Fox Nation Trump says Capitol rioters posed 'zero threat' Trump says press asked Biden 'softball' questions MORE and Brian Kilmeade, ex-Justice Department official John Yoo, and former GOP Rep. Sean DuffySean DuffyLobbying world CNN's Ana Navarro to host Biden roundtable on making 'Trump a one-term president' Bottom line MORE (Wis.) made in the wake of reports about Vindman's scheduled testimony. 

Kilmeade noted on "Fox & Friends" early Tuesday that Vindman emigrated from the former Soviet Union when he was a child and that he tends to "feel simpatico with the Ukraine." Duffy, a CNN contributor who retired from Congress earlier this year, echoed that sentiment, saying on the network that the official was motivated by an "affinity" for his homeland. 

Ingraham on her Monday night program suggested that Vindman was advising Ukraine while working "against the president's interest."

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"I find that astounding, and some people might call that espionage," Yoo, who worked in former President George W. Bush's administration, said in response. 

Following the clips, Wallace decried the statements as "chickenshit." She later noted that Vindman passed a background check and that Ivanka TrumpIvanka TrumpChelsea Clinton: Pics of Trump getting vaccinated would help him 'claim credit' Ivanka Trump gets vaccine, urges public to do the same Trump alumni launch America First Policy Institute MORE and Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump alumni launch America First Policy Institute Fauci fatigue sets in as top doc sows doubt in vaccine effectiveness The Memo: Biden's five biggest foreign policy challenges MORE, Trump's daughter and son-in-law, did not. 

Ivanka Trump and Kushner, who both serve as White House advisers, received permanent security clearances in 2018 after waiting for their background checks to clear. Their clearances prompted criticism from Democrats.

Vindman on Tuesday testified behind closed doors as part of the House's impeachment inquiry into the Trump administration's dealings with Ukraine. Vindman, an expert on Ukraine matters inside the White House, became the first official who was listening in on Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to testify in the impeachment inquiry. 

He testified that he twice raised concerns about Trump's dealings with Ukraine and that he was concerned the president's conduct would undermine national security, according to a copy of his opening statement obtained by The Hill. 

Multiple GOP lawmakers, including Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyModerates' 0B infrastructure bill is a tough sell with Democrats Sinema, Romney propose bill to tackle student loan debt Romney, Sinema teaming up on proposal to raise minimum wage MORE (Utah) and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyTrump backs Wyoming GOP chair, citing Cheney censure The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring Trump mocks Murkowski, Cheney election chances MORE (Wyo.), rushed to Vindman's defense amid the attacks. 

“It’s absurd, disgusting and way off the mark. This is a decorated American soldier, and he should be given the respect that his service to our country demands,” Romney told reporters

CNN anchor Brianna Keilar was also among those to denounce Duffy's comments, describing them as "anti-immigrant bigotry."

"And it’s an odd questioning of patriotism coming from Sean Duffy, the guy who spent part of his 20s on MTV's 'The Real World' and 'Real World/Road Rules Challenge,'" Keillar said before noting that Vindman received a Purple Heart for his service in Iraq.