Ret. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman told The Atlantic on Monday that President Donald Trump is “an unwitting agent” of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who considers Trump his “useful idiot.”
“President Trump should be considered to be a useful idiot and a fellow traveler, which makes him an unwitting agent of Putin,” Vindman, the former National Security Council Ukraine expert, told The Atlantic's Editor-in-Chief Jeffrey Goldberg.
“They may or may not have dirt on him, but they don’t have to use it,” he added, in response to a question about whether Russia has compromising information about Trump. “They have more effective and less risky ways to employ him. He has aspirations to be the kind of leader that Putin is, and so he admires him. He likes authoritarian strongmen who act with impunity, without checks and balances. So he’ll try to please Putin.”
Vindman, who testified against Trump during the House impeachment trial, retired from the military after alleging a campaign of retribution for his actions.
“The president destroyed my Army career,” Vindman said on Monday, in his first public remarks about Trump since the impeachment. “I’m not crying over spilled milk. I have other things to do.”
He added, “I was drawn into this by the president, who politicized me. I think it’s important for the American people to know that this could happen to any honorable service member, any government official. I think it’s important for me to tell people that I think the president has made this country weaker.”
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