Vindman: Given the 'power disparity' between Trump and Zelensky, Ukrainian president 'would have to deliver'

Vindman: Given the 'power disparity' between Trump and Zelensky, Ukrainian president 'would have to deliver'
Vindman CNN Screengrab

When Donald Trump told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that “I would like you to do us a favor, though,” anyone not invested in defending Trump at all costs can tell it wasn’t just a friendly request. Some people need it explained, though, and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Counsel’s top Ukraine expert, laid it out in his impeachment testimony Tuesday.

“The culture I come from, the military culture, when a senior asks you to do something, even if it’s polite and pleasant, it’s not to be taken as a request. It’s to be taken as an order,” Vindman said. “In this case, the power disparity between the two leaders, my impression is that in order to get the White House meeting, President Zelensky would have to deliver these investigations.”

Exactly. And anyone who’s ever watched a mob movie could understand the type of pressure being applied just as well as Vindman’s military background helped him understand it. As it might go in that context, “Nice country you’ve got there. If you do me a favor, you might be able to keep it.”

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