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 IngrahamBiden town hall on CNN finishes third in cable news race Ex-Virginia governor rips Laura Ingraham's 'racist kind of talk' about state demographics Senate Republicans struggle to coalesce behind an impeachment strategy MORE and Brian Kilmeade, ex-Justice Department official John Yoo, and former GOP Rep. Sean DuffySean DuffyOn The Money: Trump seeks to shift spotlight from impeachment to economy | Appropriators agree to Dec. 20 funding deadline | New study says tariffs threaten 1.5M jobs Ex-Rep. Duffy to join lobbying firm BGR Trump's defenders are running out of options 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 TrumpOn The Money: Appeals court clears way for Congress to seek Trump financial records | Fed chief urges Congress to boost US workforce | Federal deficit hits 4 billion in one month | China talks hit snag over agricultural purchases Trump falsely claims Ivanka 'created 14 million jobs' Overnight Defense: Families sue over safety hazards at Army base | Lawmakers, NBA's Enes Kanter speak out ahead of Erdoğan visit | Washington braces for public impeachment hearings MORE and Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump administration plans livestreaming border wall construction: report Overnight Defense: Families sue over safety hazards at Army base | Lawmakers, NBA's Enes Kanter speak out ahead of Erdoğan visit | Washington braces for public impeachment hearings Bolton suggests Trump's Turkey policy motivated by personal, financial interest: NBC 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 RomneyJon Huntsman expected to run for governor in Utah Trump Jr's 'Triggered' debuts at No. 1 on NY Times bestseller list Club for Growth extends advertising against House Dems over impeachment MORE (Utah) and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyLawmakers call for extra security for anti-Erdoğan protesters  Live updates on impeachment: Schiff fires warning at GOP over whistleblower Overnight Defense: Protests at Trump's NYC Veterans Day speech | House Dems release Pentagon official's deposition transcript | Lawmakers ask Trump to rescind Erdogan invite 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.