Opening up the second week of live testimony by Democrat-called witnesses who have information about President Donald Trump‘s July 25 phone call with the president of Ukraine, social media erupted when Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman asked Rep. Devin Nunes, of California, to address him by his military title.
According to The Hill, Vindman made the request after Nunes — the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee — began his line of questioning by addressing the decorated U.S. Army officer as “Mr. Vindman.”
“Ranking member, it’s Lt. Col. Vindman, please,” Vindman said to Nunes.
Twitter users reacted instantly to the unexpected correction of the GOP lawmaker, sparking the hashtag #DevinNunesIsAnIdiot, which quickly gained traction and inspired a long list of clever Tweets.
“Raise your boy to be a Vindman, not a Nunes.#DevinNunesIsAnIdiot,” one user tweeted.
“Watching Devins opening statement with my 70 year old Republican father my dad looks at me and says ‘Trumps in trouble if this brain dead fool is his defender’ #DevinNunesIsAnIdiot Me being like whaaaa go dad!” another user tweeted.
The back-and-forth between Vindman and Nunes was intense, with Nunes firing off questions in an attempt to gather more information about the anonymous whistleblower in the U.S. intelligence community whose report sparked the Trump impeachment inquiry. Republicans from both chambers of Congress have repeatedly demanded that the anonymous whistleblower’s name be revealed to allow Trump to face his accuser.
Vindman told Nunes that his attorneys previously advised him to not go into detail about the anonymous whistleblower in order to avoid any assumed links between them. The answer apparently didn’t sit well with Nunes, who immediately reminded Vindman — a Ukraine specialist on the National Security Council — that he was there to answer questions.
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman reporting for duty pic.twitter.com/BzegmfQzzT— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) November 19, 2019
“You can plead the Fifth but you’re here to answer questions and you’re here under subpoena,” Nunes said. “So you can either answer the question or you can plead the Fifth.”
The heated exchange prompted House Intel Committee Chairman Adam Schiff to jump in, telling Nunes that the whistleblower has a “statutory right to anonymity.”
Unlike the whistleblower, who filed the initial complaint based on second-hand knowledge and hearsay, Vindman was on the July 25 phone call between Trump and the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky. The second witness set to testify today, Jennifer Williams, was also listening in on the phone call.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Trump recently blasted Williams — a career foreign service officer and aide to Vice President Mike Pence — on Twitter, demanding that she read the previous transcripts of the call while also lumping her in with “Never Trumpers.”