Top GOP Reps Defend WH Official From “Spy” Chatter

This is a fascinating turn of events:

Republicans may quibble with the substance of Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman’s testimony as they try to protect President Donald Trump from the fast-moving impeachment inquiry. But congressional GOP leaders say it’s out of bounds to attack Vindman’s patriotism and allegiance to the United States, as some conservative pundits did on Monday night.

“That guy’s a Purple Heart. I think it would be a mistake to attack his credibility,” said South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the No. 2 Senate Republican, in an interview. “You can obviously take issue with the substance and there are different interpretations about all that stuff. But I wouldn’t go after him personally. He’s a patriot.”

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), one of the most hawkish Republicans in the House and a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said it would be “shameful” to question Vindman’s loyalty or patriotism to the country. Cheney wasn’t even pressed by reporters on the topic; in her opening remarks during a weekly leadership news conference in the Capitol, she went out of her way to decry the attacks on Vindman, including the outlandish theory that he was a potential spy working against the United States.