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 IngrahamEx-Pence aide: Trump spent 45 minutes of task force meeting 'going off on Tucker Carlson' instead of talking coronavirus Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs to be deposed in Seth Rich lawsuit: report NYC living statue shows Trump desecrating graves of war dead, COVID-19 victims MORE and Brian Kilmeade, ex-Justice Department official John Yoo, and former GOP Rep. Sean DuffySean DuffyCNN's Ana Navarro to host Biden roundtable on making 'Trump a one-term president' Bottom line McCarthy blasts Pelosi's comments on Trump's weight 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."


"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 TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpTrump, Biden vie for Minnesota Trump luxury properties have charged US government .1M since inauguration: report Ivana Trump: Ivanka could 'definitely' be first female president MORE and Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerAbraham Accords: New hope for peace in Middle East Tenants in Kushner building file lawsuit alleging dangerous living conditions Trump hosts Israel, UAE, Bahrain for historic signing 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 RomneyMomentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day Toobin: McConnell engaging in 'greatest act of hypocrisy in American political history' with Ginsburg replacement vote The Memo: Court battle explodes across tense election landscape MORE (Utah) and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Cheney asks DOJ to probe environmental groups | Kudlow: 'No sector worse hurt than energy' during pandemic | Trump pledges 'no politics' in Pebble Mine review Cheney asks DOJ to probe environmental groups  Press: The big no-show at the RNC 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.