Romney: Vindman attacks 'absurd, disgusting'

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyOrange County declaring local health emergency in response to coronavirus Why Bernie Sanders won the debate Lawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response MORE (R-Utah) hit back on Tuesday against attacks on an Army officer and key White House official testifying as part of the House impeachment inquiry.

“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 when asked about criticism of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council official.

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Trump railed against Vindman on Tuesday and questioned his credibility, including calling him a "Never Trumper witness."

"Supposedly, according to the Corrupt Media, the Ukraine call 'concerned' today’s Never Trumper witness," Trump tweeted. "Was he on the same call that I was? Can’t be possible! Please ask him to read the Transcript of the call. Witch Hunt!"

Vindman is testifying behind closed doors as part of the House impeachment inquiry on Tuesday. He's expected to tell the three committees that he raised concerns more than once about Trump and other officials pressing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch two politically motivated investigations that would benefit Trump, according to a copy of his opening remarks.

Vindman arrived in the U.S. as a refugee from Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union, at the age of 3 and received the Purple Heart for his service in Iraq.

He's the latest witness in a series of near-daily closed-door depositions with current and former officials as the House looks into Trump asking Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden looks to shore up lead in S.C. Hillicon Valley: Dems cancel surveillance vote after pushback to amendments | Facebook to ban certain coronavirus ads | Lawmakers grill online ticketing execs | Hacker accessed facial recognition company's database Vulnerable Democrats brace for Sanders atop ticket MORE and his son Hunter Biden, as well as whether Trump predicated aid to the country opening up a probe.

The public criticism of Vindman sparked bipartisan backlash on Tuesday.

"Questioning the dedication to country of people like Mr. Vindman, Lt. Col. Vindman who will be coming today, and others who have testified. I think that we need to show that we are better than that as a nation," Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyThis week: House to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime Overnight Defense: GOP lawmaker takes unannounced trip to Syria | Taliban leader pens New York Times op-ed on peace talks | Cheney blasts paper for publishing op-ed Liz Cheney blasts NYT for publishing op-ed by Taliban leader MORE (R-Wyo.) told reporters without specifying whom she was responding to.

Biden called Trump's remarks 'despicable," while Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden looks to shore up lead in S.C. House passes historic legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime This week: House to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime MORE (D-Calif.) said he was a "disgrace."