Twinkle little Czar, Putin put you where you are: Twitter Vindman interview

‘Twinkle, twinkle, little Czar, Putin put you where you are’: Twitter goes wild for Vindman interview

Lt Col Vindman testifies

Screenshot / YouTube

The Atlantic is on fire these days.

Not the ocean — the flagship magazine renowned for its political and cultural commentary. Jeffrey Goldberg is the editor-in-chief of The Atlantic, and Twitter is in a frenzy over his latest article.  Alexander Vindman: Trump Is Putin’s ‘Useful Idiot’ tells Americans exactly why they should worry about Trump and Putin’s relationship.

Alexander Vindman has finally stepped back into the limelight after his impeachment testimony, where he described the infamous phone call between Trump and the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The Atlantic article is his first interview since the hearing. He describes his relationship with Donald Trump.

The phone call changed his view of the President

Trump on the phone in the Oval Office

Flickr / The White House

As the National Security Council’s director for European Affairs, Vindman orchestrated the phone call between the two leaders. Along with several other White House officials, he listened in on the conversation. The phone call would eventually lead to him being the linchpin witness in the impeachment trial and getting ousted by the Trump admin afterward.

Trump brought the conversation to Joe Biden’s son and asked Zelensky for “a favor”:

There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution, and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it…

At the time of the phone call, Vindman was the National Security Council’s director for European affairs and an infantry officer in the U.S. army. Born in the Soviet Union, Vindman moved to the United States as a child and was a fiercely patriotic American citizen. The phone call chilled him to the bone.

‘I found it repulsive and un-American for an American president to try to get a leg up’

Trump silhouette with the words unamerican in front

Screenshot / YouTube

Vindman was taken aback at how comfortable the President of the United States appeared to be about forcing another leader’s hand. The newly elected Zelensky needed America’s help for their foreign policy with Russia.

Vindman discovered at this moment that the President of the United States was resorting to dirty tricks and effectively cornering a foreign leader to dig up dirt on the son of a political opponent.

I found it repulsive and un-American for an American president to try to get a leg up by pressuring a foreign leader to get dirt on an American politician. I knew by then that Giuliani was somewhere in the background. But I refused to believe that the president was party to what Rudy was doing. I learned in that phone call that the president was the driving force.

In 2018, Trump admitted he trusted Putin as much as U.S. Intelligence

Trump talking to Putin

Screenshot / YouTube

The very day Vindman started at the National Security Council, Trump was meeting Putin in Helsinki. After that meeting in July 2018, Trump told a press conference he trusted Putin as much as his own U.S. intelligence agencies, “I have confidence in both parties,” he said.

‘I had to choose between the president and the Constitution’

A stylized photo of the Constitution

Pixabay

At this moment, Vindman realized he had to make a choice.

“I had to choose between the president and the Constitution. I was aware of the fact that I could be compelled to testify. But I chose the Constitution. No Army officer wants to be put in that position, but there I was.”

‘An unwitting agent of Putin’

#DictatorTrump

Screenshot / YouTube

Over the course of the interview, Vindman offers his analysis of the relationship between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. He warns that Trump is unwittingly playing into Russia’s hands. He describes Trump as a “useful idiot” which Goldberg explains is a way to describe “dupes of authoritarian regimes.”

In Vindman’s opinion, Trump idealizes strongmen like Putin who act “without checks and balances.”

The Russians have ‘free chicken’ in Trump

\Trump standing behind a podium with his hands in the air

Flickr / Evan Guest

Vindman goes on to use a military expression in his explanation of Trump’s behavior. By playing into Putin’s hands, Trump has become “free chicken” for Russians.

In the Army we call this ‘free chicken,’ something you don’t have to work for—it just comes to you. This is what the Russians have in Trump: free chicken.”

#FreeChickenTrump goes viral!

Are Americans giving away their democracy?

A photograph of a woman waving an American flag while sitting in a sunny field.

Pixabay

Speaking about authoritarianism in general, Vindman observes that democracy is not taken away by strong leaders. People give away their freedom. He suggests:

Authoritarianism is able to take hold not because you have a strong set of leaders who are forcing their way. It’s more about the fact that we can give away our democracy. In Hungary and Turkey today, in Nazi Germany, those folks gave away their democracy, by being complacent.

America is heading to a crossroads in November

Vote

Hannah Edgman / Pixabay

There are less than 50 days to go until the election. Get informed about #YourVote. This November 3 will be one of the most important elections in the nation’s history.

From the safety of mail-in ballots to what to do if you are not on the list at your polling place, Front Page Live has information to help you make sure your vote counts!

Head to Vote.org to register to vote, check your registration, or sign up to vote by mail.

Make sure you have the right ID to vote and don’t let anyone intimidate you on election day.

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