Vindman reveals how notorious Devin Nunes aide tricked Trump over and over again on Ukraine

Vindman reveals how notorious Devin Nunes aide tricked Trump over and over again on Ukraine
Vindman Screengrab

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman was sidelined from debriefing President Donald Trump about Ukraine’s future because an associate of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) had already claimed the role of White House expert on the foreign ally, which he actually knew very little about.

Vindman testified before the House impeachment inquiry that longtime Nunes staffer Kashyap Patel had “misrepresented” himself to the president to become more deeply involved in Ukraine policy, two sources told Politico.

The sources said Vindman had attended the inauguration of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and was looking forward to explaining the newly elected leader’s vision for his country, but was instructed “at the last second” not to attend the debriefing.

Trump’s advisers were worried his presence might confuse the president, who had been led to believe that Patel was the National Security Council expert on Ukraine, Vindman told lawmakers.

“It’s crazy,” said a person with knowledge of Vindman’s testimony. “Vindman should have been in that meeting.”

Vindman testified that he was directly told this by Fiona Hill, who at the time was his director supervisor as the NSC’s senior director for European and Russian affairs.

Hill previously testified about her concerns that Patel, who had no discernible expertise on Ukraine, was “improperly” feeding information the president about the European ally.

Vindman also testified that he and other NSC officials, including Hill and former national security adviser John Bolton, were frustrated by having to correct misinformation delivered to the president about Ukraine by Patel.

Patel, the lead author on the infamous “Nunes memo” intended to undermine the Russia probe, is officially assigned to work on counterterrorism issues for the NSC.

Trump’s confusion about Patel’s role may explain why the president tweeted that he had never met Vindman, despite his clear interest in Ukraine, and shows how NSC officials took steps to avoid upsetting the president on Ukraine issues.

#story_page_ below_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.