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RUSH: Now to the hearings today. The interesting thing about the hearings today, we had two witnesses who actually heard the July 25th phone call. These are said to be star witnesses, Jennifer Williams from Mike Pence’s office, but she’s actually State Department, and Lieutenant Colonel Vindman.

And what has happened with Lieutenant Colonel Vindman today is fascinating because it is clear to me, since these people only have their opinions to offer, since they only have their assumptions to make, I’m gonna do the same thing. And I’m gonna tell you my opinion is Vindman is the source for the whistleblower, and it was almost exposed today. Adam Schiff jumped in.

People who know what’s going on watching this understand that Schiff was practically stripped bare today on all the lies he’s been telling about not knowing who the whistleblower is. If he doesn’t know who the whistleblower is, how can he possibly prevent somebody from saying the name of the whistleblower?

Vindman made the mistake of saying that he informed two people who were not on the call about the call. Because you know what’s also clear? What’s also clear is that Lieutenant Colonel Vindman in his role has been acting more like a supporter or a defender or of a diplomat for Ukraine and not the United States. Now, don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking treason or any of that. Don’t misunderstand. I’m gonna play the sound bites and show you what I mean as the program unfolds.

But Vindman seems like his intent has always been to protect Ukraine from Donald Trump. Really all we have here is a bunch of career people who think they make foreign policy. And Trump has run around them. He’s done end runs around them. He’s making foreign policy without them, and their noses are out of joint, and they’re coming forth and trying to offer other reasons to explain why their noses are out of joint. But that’s all this is.

It’s just the fact that a bunch of career diplomats and aides to diplomats have been left out of American foreign policy in Ukraine as conducted by Donald Trump. And their way of getting back it him is this. Now, John Ratcliffe just, right before the program started — the congressman from Texas — made a great point. He said that when this whole impeachment thing began, it was about a quid pro quo, that Trump somehow had demanded a quid pro quo from the president of Ukraine for aid to Ukraine.

And the quid pro quo was that the president of Ukraine, the newly elected one, must conduct an investigation of Vice President Biden and his incompetent, unqualified son, Hunter Biden. The Democrats went out… Do not doubt me. This is true. The Democrats went out when this wasn’t playing out the way they hoped it would with the public, they went out, they convened a focus group, and they found out that “quid pro quo” didn’t rattle any cages.

There aren’t a whole lot of Americans who’ve been taught Latin anymore. So they don’t know what quid pro quo really is. As such, it didn’t carry any impact. So Pelosi, last week, changed the entire narrative and said that Trump is now being impeached for “bribery,” because in the focus group that the Democrats did, they found out the word “bribery” and the word “extortion” has much more impact in describing illegal or criminal behavior than “quid pro quo” does.

So Pelosi is out now all of a sudden the end of last week and through the weekend claiming Trump is gonna be impeached for bribery. So John Ratcliffe asked the two witnesses, “Have you ever described President Trump’s actions as ‘bribery’?” Both of them said no. “In any of your testimony behind closed doors or here today, have you ever described Trump’s behavior as ‘bribery’?” No. Then Ratcliffe put stacks of paper on the desk.

He said, “These are transcripts from all of the closed-door depositions that have taken place. There isn’t one witness — in thousands of interviews, thousands of questions, thousands of answers. There isn’t one witness who has used the word ‘bribery’ to denote what President Trump has done.” These two witnesses today, the star witnesses both said they’ve never used the word “bribery.” It has never been used.

Not one person who has testified either in public or in the closed-door sessions has ever used the word “bribery” in discussing whatever it is that Trump did that’s so bad. The word “bribery” was used, however, one time in the private depositions, and it was used in reference to Joe Biden. So Ratcliffe says (summarized), “What the hell is going on here? We’re gonna impeach the president over something not a single witness has accused him of? Not a single witness has used the term or referenced the term or even defined the term.”

He said, “We’re gonna have articles of impeachment prepared. We’re gonna send this over to Judiciary Committee; there’s more Democrats there, so this is gonna pass. How can the American people possibly follow this? This thing starts out with a quid pro quo and whatever else the Democrats wanted to say, and since that wasn’t playing well, they focus grouped. They change it now to ‘bribery’ and before that ‘extortion’.”

Also today, ladies and gentlemen, Alexander Vindman… (sigh) You know, as everybody saying, “You gotta be very, very careful in talking about Vindman because she’s wearing the uniform, he’s decorated.” (sigh) You just gotta be very careful. And the Wall Street Journal. Wall Street Journal has a story today that says that Vindman’s family and Vindman himself may be relocated to an Army base to protect him against threats to his safety.

Alexander Vindman, all of these witnesses are the safest people in the country today. If a single hair on a single head of one of these witnesses is touched? (Snort!) I shudder to think. Vindman’s under no danger, but here comes the story in the Wall Street Journal. (impression) “Because of his testimony today, Vindman and his family seriously being thought to be relocated to the safety and security of an Army base where Trump thugs could not possibly get to them.”

That’s the point of the story.

Yet there hasn’t been a single threat. There hasn’t been a single hack of any of Vindman’s computers. So it’s all part of the grand illusion. Anyway, Vindman said today that in his opinion Hunter Biden didn’t seem to be qualified to serve on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, Burisma, while his father, Joe Biden, was vice president. You’re not gonna see anybody highlight that in the Drive-By Media, but Vindman said Hunter Biden didn’t seem to be qualified.

Now, we’re gonna go to the sound bites. Let me take a break here. We’re gonna get to the sound bites. Devin Nunes will lead off. He had a tremendous opening statement today. And as a point of preparation for the point Nunes was attempting to make today was to suggest that it is Vindman who ran out of the room after the July 25th phone call and called his buddy Eric Ciaramella and leaked the details of the phone call to him, and then it was Ciaramella who ran over to Schiff.

That is the story, that is what happened, and it is my opinion — and my great assumption — that that is exactly the role that Vindman has played here. “But, Rush! But, Rush! He’s denied it.” No, he hasn’t denied it. He mentioned that he told two people outside the National Security Council, two people who were not on the call. He told two other people about it. He identified one person as George Kent, the bow-tied ambassador who testified last week.

The other person — and Vindman started stumbling around, and then Schiff stepped in. (summarized exchange) “You can’t… You can’t say that! You can’t answer that. I’m stepping in here. This is a trick. This is a trick. You’re trying to get him to identify the whistleblower,” and Nunes said, “Mr. Chairman, you don’t know who the whistleblower is — you said — and Lieutenant Colonel Vindman said he doesn’t know who the whistleblower is. How can anybody possibly identify the whistleblower here if you don’t know who it is?

“He could give the name of anybody he wants, give any name he wants and nobody would know it’s the whistleblower or not ’cause you don’t know who it is and Vindman doesn’t know who it is.” And then Vindman’s lawyer, said, “He’s not gonna answer. He’s not gonna gonna fuel the ruling of the chairperson. He’s not gonna answer. He’s not gonna answer that.” And then Nunes said, “Well, if he wants to take the Fifth Amendment…”

And the lawyer (sputtering) “There’s no Fifth Amendment issue here! He’s just following the ruling of the chair. We’re not gonna sit there and identify the whistleblower.” So Vindman has acknowledged that he told you somebody, quote, “from the intelligence community.” Well, that’s the whistleblower. Eric Ciaramella, is CIA. So in my humble opinion — and it’s just my opinion and it’s only my assumption — and, of course, I could be called as a witness based on this because that’s what these witnesses have. It is my opinion based on learned knowledge following these hearings that Vindman is the original leaker and that Vindman told Ciaramella (who is the whistleblower) who then went over and set all of this up with Adam Schiff.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Now, we must be careful with Lieutenant Colonel Vindman. That’s the refrain that was shared with everybody today before these hearings began. It was a warning to the Republicans. It was a warning to people like me in the so-called conserve media. “You gotta be very careful with Lieutenant Colonel Vindman. You gotta be respectful. You can’t call him names. You can’t claim that he’s dishonest. You can’t call him political. You gotta be real careful with Lieutenant Colonel Vindman.”

The same people saying this are the very same people who set out to destroy General Petraeus in 2007 and 2008, including Hillary Clinton. Remember all the ads the Democrats ran, and Harry Reid was out calling General Petraeus “General Betrayus.” They accused him of lying before congressional committees even before his testimony began. This was all having to do with the Iraq war and what was to become known as the surge to finally see victory in Iraq. Petraeus was gonna be brought up and he was gonna testify.

MoveOn.org was running ads all over the internet and in newspapers, “General Betrayus.” So it was clear you didn’t have to be careful with General Petreaus. When the left wants to destroy somebody in the media, why, they can go ahead and do it and everybody has to stand aside and let them. When the left wants to protect somebody in the military, you can’t say anything. “You gotta be real careful with Lieutenant Colonel Vindman!”

Does anybody remember any concerns for the safety of Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North back during the Iran-Contra hearings? Oh, yeah. Lieutenant Colonel — as the prosecutor pounced it, “Colonel Nawt.” He was a New Yorker. I forget his name. (impression) “Colonel Nawt, did you…? You were shredding documents. I one here,” and North said, “What, I didn’t get them all I missed one?” (chuckling) Anyway, nobody was concerned for the safety of Lieutenant Colonel North.

Nobody was concerned for the safety of General Betrayus. When the Democrat wants to target somebody in the military, they do. John Kerry! It was free and clear for him to accuse Marines in Haditha of terrorizing Iraqi women and children. Nobody had to go easy on the military, uniformed military personnel when the Democrats are seeking to destroy Republicans. But with Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, “We have to be very, very, very careful.”

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Okay. So I checked the email during the break. Look. I don’t blame you, folks. Let me try to explain it. “Rush, you said you were gonna start with the Nunes sound bites.” I intended to. This is how quickly things are happening here, folks. I intended to start about five minutes into the program with the Devin Nunes sound bites, but things are happening before my very eyes.

I’m watching this stuff as I do the program. It’s jogging my mind. It’s making impressions. I want to share them with you. So it’s all coming up. That’s how much on the fly things are happening here. That’s why this program defies the odds every day. I structure it, I get it planned out, at least I have general areas I want to get to. Nothing is scripted, but I’ve general areas I want to get to, but the way it’s been in the last long period of time, there is no organization that survives reality here.

So they’re coming up. In fact, what I want to do now, I want to set it up. I want to give you a summary of what’s happened so far today, then I want to go to the audio sound bites. I’m actually gonna start with John Ratcliffe since I mentioned what I thought was an extremely effective appearance he made. He’s pointing out how they’ve switched to “bribery” here because “quid pro quo” was not focus-grouping well.

And also, President Trump’s approval number is back up to 50 in the Rasmussen poll. It had gotten as low as 45 I believe. It’s now back up to 50 in the midst of all this. But here are some things in this hoax hearing today. All of this is a hoax. It’s the continuation of a hoax for three and a half years.

You know what I found fascinating, folks? Neither Lieutenant Colonel Vindman nor Jennifer Williams, the star witnesses today who were on the phone call, both of them said they knew nothing of Joe Biden threatening the Ukrainian prosecutor, they knew nothing about Joe Biden demanding the Ukrainian prosecutor be fired because he was looking into his son. They had no knowledge, they said, of any of the Biden efforts to effect internal Ukraine domestic policy. They had no knowledge of it.

How can this be? These people are devoted to Ukraine. How could they not know what Joe Biden was doing during the Obama years? I don’t believe they didn’t know. I don’t know about Jennifer Williams. Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, I can’t believe they didn’t know. These people sat there for eight years while Obama denied Ukraine military aid and they didn’t say a peep about it. They didn’t say one word. They never went public. They never had a whistleblower.

Nobody in this apparatus ever expressed any disgust that the Obama administration went back on a commitment to supply military aid to Ukraine. They got that commitment under Trump. They got that military aid. They got the assistance under Trump. And there was no investigation that he supposedly demanded.

And yet they sat by and apparently didn’t care a whit for poor old Ukraine when Obama was denying them assistance. These people, in my opinion, and as far as my assumptions are concerned, these people have no credibility whatsoever. In my opinion their partisanship here is as clear as a bell. Whatever Obama was doing with Ukraine was fine. Because Obama, in their view, was qualified to set U.S. policy. And so they were not gonna question it. And Obama made the show of going through them and using them and so forth.

Here comes Trump totally disagreeing with the Obama administration’s foreign policy with Ukraine, setting out to change it, making sure they do get their aid, because Trump is opposed to Russia. Obama was afraid of Putin. Obama was afraid of angering Putin, which is why he denied Ukraine any assistance when Russia annexed Crimea from them. Trump came in, assessed this is not good. And he immediately set out to prepare the transfer of military assistance long promised and denied by Obama to Ukraine.

And these people are trying to make a big deal out of the fact that it was delayed because Trump supposedly demanded an investigation. And here’s how Vindman claims it was a demand. In the transcript of the phone call, Trump casually throws off to Zelensky, the Ukrainian president (paraphrasing), “Hey, do me a favor here. We’re looking into things here with Biden and his son, Burisma,” blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Vindman says that was not just a favor. That was the president demanding.

How’s that? He asked for a favor. No, no, no, no, said Vindman. The president of the United States is infinitely more powerful than the president of Ukraine. And when a superior asks you for a favor, it’s not a favor, says Vindman, it is a demand.

So this guy is totally, totally devoted, slavishly almost as a stoolie to whatever chain of command he thinks he’s in, and is transferring that. He thinks Trump is the head of the chain of command over the president of Ukraine. In his world, the president of Ukraine is some chump who has to take orders from the president of the United States. And so when Trump asks for a favor, it’s not a favor. It’s a demand.

Trump did not make a demand. Vindman said it’s a demand. And that’s the reasoning he gave. But the striking thing is that none of these people that have testified cared a whit that Obama didn’t come through with assistance for Ukraine, and all of them, every single one of them claims to have no knowledge at all about what Biden was doing meddling around in internal Ukraine domestic affairs.

I mean, when you’re the vice president of the United States and you demand that Ukraine, a foreign country, fire a prosecutor ’cause he’s getting too close to your kid and then you brag about it to the Council on Foreign Relations and it’s on videotape, and these people claim they didn’t know anything about that? And yet we’re supposed to respect them as far more knowledgeable than any of us on Ukraine.

It is clear to me, my opinion and my assumption, that Vindman is more concerned about what happens to Ukraine than he is the United States, within his foreign policy sphere. And you’ll hear as the sound bites ensue that Vindman thought it was his job to protect Ukraine from Donald Trump.

Now, the bombshell today, or one of them, one of the bombshells, the Ukrainians offered Vindman three different times the job of defense minister of Ukraine. Now, stop a moment, folks, and let this settle in. Ukraine offered Lieutenant Colonel Vindman the job of minister of defense of Ukraine three different times. And Vindman says he doesn’t really know why they did that.

He says he strongly refused the first time they asked. He made it abundantly clear the first time they asked he was not interested in being minister of defense for Ukraine. If he was that clear about it, if he refused the offer that strongly, why would they ask two more times? Vindman says that it was pretty funny, but he doesn’t really know why they offered him the job of minister of defense, and he claims that he was not even worried about even the appearance of a conflict of interest.

So this guy testifying against Donald Trump today because of what he heard on a phone call was offered the job of minister of defense three different times. Now, the Republican counsel here — don’t be sandbagged by this guy. The Republican lawyer — remember during the Christine Blasey Ford testimony, the Republicans brought in some woman lawyer that nobody ever heard of to question her. And she started getting real specific about sexual abuse and the effect it has on you psychologically.

We’re all sitting here, “What the hell is this? The Republicans are blowing this. This Blasey Ford needs to be blown out of the water.” And then we all changed our minds about her later on. This Republican lawyer here reminds me of that. He initially plods and stutters his way through the opening of his questioning, but by the time it’s over he has coaxed a lot of damning information out of these people because he is very good at making himself look like he’s second or third best. The guy is sharp as a tack. He is getting these people to admit things because he disarms them.

Now, as I said, nobody can explain why these two bureaucrats, Jennifer Williams and Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, their supposed outrage over a temporary delay in military assistance, why did this temporary delay galvanize these people into such action while three years of no aid was provided by Obama.

There was a complete cutoff of military assistance under Obama, and these people didn’t even bat an eye. They weren’t concerned about it at all. And here is a temporary delay, and the assistance is now flowing, and it’s been flowing for months. But now we gotta impeach Donald Trump because he delayed aid to precious Ukraine, whereas Obama cut it off for three years? And ditto Biden.

Vindman claims to be an expert on Ukraine and has no knowledge of Biden bragging that he quid pro quo’d Ukraine and got a prosecutor fired. This guy was such an expert on Ukraine, he’s offered the job of minister of defense, and yet he proudly claimed he never heard of anything Joe Biden was doing in Ukraine.

But despite the fact he didn’t know what Biden was doing, arranging prosecutors to be fired to protect his son, he is livid, his sensibilities are outraged over a supposed idea that Trump was leveraging a prosecutor to act. But both Jennifer Williams and Vindman said they didn’t even know anything about this Biden stuff. This Biden stuff is all over the news. Do you know that half of what they claim to know they cite as media sources? Half the information they have that’s made them upset and mad is Politico and the New York Times.

Vindman has been bragging about his expertise in Ukraine, the fact he speaks Russian and Ukraine fluently, been bragging about growing up in Ukraine. But when asked specifically about Biden and Burisma, he claims he knew almost nothing about it, even though it has been widely reported in and out of government. It’s even come up in the Democrat Party debates for the presidency, in the primaries.

And here is this expert on Ukraine, and Jennifer Williams, too, claiming not to know a thing about what Joe Biden did. Most important, Adam Schiff stopped dead Devin Nunes’ question about the second person Vindman leaked the call to, even though Vindman testified he didn’t know who the whistleblower is.

So the Democrat narrative is that Vindman immediately called up Ciaramella at national intelligence, told him about the call and now winks and nods that he has no idea that Ciaramella took that knowledge and acted as a whistleblower. That’s what they’re gonna try to pass off. Vindman did tell Ciaramella, but he didn’t know that Ciaramella whistle-blew, he didn’t know Ciaramella was gonna do anything with it.

Folks, it is so much smoke and mirrors, it is such a web of deceit. There are sacks of manure in front of everybody here. This whole thing is an absolutely disgrace to the country. It’s an insult to the people of this country, in addition to everything else that it is to Donald Trump.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Ah, this was great. This was great. Will Hurd. Will Hurd just nabbed Vindman again. So earlier this the morning testimony, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman said that he was so concerned about what was happening that he warned Zelensky, the newly elected Ukraine president. He warned him about two things. He warned him to be very leery of the Russians, and the second thing he says he warned Zelensky of was to be careful of letting outsiders interfere in domestic politics.

Lieutenant Colonel Vindman is making it clear that he had spoken to Zelensky, right? So just now Will Hurd from Texas asked, “How many times have you met Zelensky?” (muttering) “Uhhh, let me see…” He looks like to the sky like he’s trying to remember all the times. “It would be one time.” “Was it a one-on-one?” “Oh, no, no, no, no. It was part of a bilateral setting.” These language code things these people diplomats use. (sputtering) “No, it was part of the bilateral setting, and there were numerous, numerous other people in the room. It was not a one-on-one.”

Will Hurd said, “So it was not a one-on-one?” “Oh, no, no.” “So when did you tell him to be leery of the Russians?” “Uh, uh, uh… (sputtering) “I assume national security adviser’s there. What was the reaction when you told Zelensky to be leery of the Russians?” (sputtering) “Well, I — I — I’m sure there was agreement.” The guy got nailed. He’s only met Zelensky one time, and I’ll betcha Zelensky doesn’t remember him. He’s in a large group of people, a so-called bilateral setting. You know what bilateral means?

It means there’s at least two different groups of people. It could be two different nations. It could be State Department, National Security Council. It could be any number of groups. But there’s two different groups in there. It was not a one-on-one, and Vindman admitted that. So all morning he’s been saying (impression), “Oh, yes, I warned the new president to be very, very careful — leery of the Russians — and to be very leery of attempts to meddle in domestic politics.”

What a convenient thing to say. “You met the new president and you warn him to be on the lookout for attempts to meddle in domestic politics?” And then Will Hurd says, “So how many times have you met guy?” “Uh, let’s see. (muttering) That would be, uh… (muttering) One.” “So that in the bilateral setting, that’s when you told Zelensky to…?” (gulp, gulp, gulp.) What a sham, folks. It’s an absolute sham.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Betsy McCaughey has a piece today the New York Post, “What Democrats’ Next Witness Alexander Vindman Really Has to Say.” Her point is that she expects him to crumble because he pretty much did during the deposition phase. I’m not sure that’s happened yet, but, believe me, there are enough holes being poked in this that it’s not gonna have the penetration that Democrats are hoping for.

BEAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Now we start at the top. Here is Devin Nunes, and how he opened his portion of the hearings. Audio sound bite number 1…

NUNES: The media, of course, are free to act as Democrat puppets and they’re free to lurch from the Russia hoax to the Ukraine hoax at the direction of their puppet masters. But they cannot reasonably expect to do so without alienating half the country who voted for the president they’re trying to expel. Americans have learned to recognize fake news when they see it and if the mainstream press won’t give it to them straight, they’ll go elsewhere to find it. Which is exactly what the American people are doing.

RUSH: Nunes was on fire for his entire opening statement. And was calling out the Democrats and the unfairness and the hypocrisy and the phoniness of all of this. Now we move to Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, who we have to be very careful with, very careful. We’re being told we gotta be very careful. He’s a decorated Army man wearing the blues, he’s wearing the full dress uni today. Gotta be very, very careful.

We didn’t have to be careful with General Petraeus. We could call him a liar, we could call him General Betrayus, we could run ads on him before he even testified. The Democrats could destroy him all they want, which they did, by the way. And John Kerry could run around and accuse Marines of Haditha in Iraq and the Iraq war of terrorizing women and children in Iraq. But we have to be very careful with Lieutenant Colonel Vindman.

See how this works? When the Democrats call the military, you gotta be very careful. You can’t challenge ’em, you Republicans. You cannot. The Democrats call somebody in the military, they can destroy them. Don’t have to show them any respect at all. Lieutenant Colonel Vindman in his opening statement admitted that he was concerned about the impact this would have on Ukraine, not the United States.

VINDMAN: I was concerned by the call. What I heard was inappropriate, and I reported my concerns to Mr. Eisenberg. It is improper for the president of the United States to demand a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen and a political opponent. It was also clear that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the 2016 elections, the Bidens and Burisma, it would be interpreted as a partisan play. This would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing bipartisan support undermining U.S. national security and advancing Russia’s strategic objectives in the region. I want to emphasize to the committee that when I reported my concerns on July 10th relating to Ambassador Sondland and then July 25th relating to the president I did so out of a sense of duty.

RUSH: Of course. We don’t challenge. Of course, it was a sense of duty. But duty to who? Because I have so stated, Vindman does not see his duty as being to the commander-in-chief, ladies and gentlemen. Vindman does not see himself serving at the pleasure of the president of the United States. He sees himself serving the interagency group. He sees himself serving the interests of the intelligence community and the State Department.

He does not see himself as serving at the pleasure of the president. He does not see himself as there to advance the foreign policy of the president of the United States. He is there to do the bidding of the people higher than he is in his chain of command in the interagency group. It is improper for the president to demand a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen. Trump didn’t demand anything. He asked for a favor. Vindman was asked later about this. Well, the president is much higher on the chain of command than the president of Ukraine. There is no chain of command with the president high atop it and the president of Ukraine below it.

In Vindman’s world all there is is the chain of command. But there was no chain of command. The president of Ukraine does not have to follow the orders of the president of the United States. But in Vindman’s world asking for a favor, like if his general came to him, “Hey, Vindman. Can you do me a favor and wash my car?” That’s a demand that Vindman go wash the car, in his world.

So he’s transposing his world on Trump and Zelensky and thinking Zelensky is a subordinate to Trump. So when Trump asks a favor, it’s a demand. And then he said it was clear that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the 2016 election, which is really what Trump was asking, because Ukraine attempted to undermine Trump’s campaign. But Vindman says if Trump tries to get them to do that, that’s a partisan play. That would result in Ukraine losing bipartisan support undermining U.S. national —

Why is he there? He’s there to represent U.S. national interests, not Ukraine’s. But not in his world. In his world, he’s there to advance Ukraine’s national interests. Just like he testified later that he told the newly elected Zelensky to be very worried about two things: Russians and domestic influence by the United States and domestic influence in Ukraine.

He was later asked, “How many times have you met Zelensky?”

(imitating Vindman) “Uhhh, one time.”

“So that’s when you told him to be leery of these two things?”

(stammering)

Zelensky’s never met Vindman one on one. Vindman was part of a gigantic group of people in a meeting. But it is clear here that Vindman thinks his duty is protecting Ukraine from Donald Trump. His duty is protecting Ukraine from the United States while Donald Trump is president. That’s not his job.

Here. Listen to the next bite, Adam Schiff’s question. “During the May 20 trip to Ukraine for the inauguration of the new president, did you have an opportunity to offer any advice to president –” now, talk about a leading question. This is because Vindman’s testified already behind closed doors. “Did you have the opportunity to offer any advice to the new president?”

Vindman is a low man here in this chain. Vindman would not have a one-on-one opportunity. To offer advice to the president of Ukraine? This would be like a fourth-rank adviser to the ambassador to the United States from Ukraine taking the president aside and offering him advice. It wouldn’t happen. But Vindman claims it did, and this is what he said.

VINDMAN: Yes, Chairman.

SCHIFF: What was the advice that you gave him?

VINDMAN: To be particularly cautious with regards to Russia and, uh, its, its desire to provoke Ukraine. And the second one was to stay out of U.S. domestic, uh, policy.

SCHIFF: Do you mean politics?

VINDMAN: Politics, correct.

SCHIFF: And why did you feel it was necessary to advise President Zelensky to stay away from U.S. domestic politics?

VINDMAN: Chairman, in the March and April time frame, it became clear that there were, there were actors, uh, in the U.S., uh, public actors, non-governmental actors, that were, um, promoting the idea of investigations, and 2016, uh, Ukrainian interference.

RUSH: That’s Rudy. Now, I need to explain this bite. I can’t tell you how this ticks me off, the presumption of this lieutenant colonel just ticks me off.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Back to Vindman’s answer, “Why did you think it was necessary to advise President Zelensky to stay away from U.S. domestic politics?” Now, this is in March and April. The phone call doesn’t happen until July. “Chairman, in the March and April time frame it became clear that there were actors in the U.S, public actors, nongovernmental actors promoting the idea of investigations in the 2016 Ukrainian interference.”

He’s talking about Rudy Giuliani. He’s talking about Trump’s effort to find out what happened in Ukraine visa his campaign in 2016. Ukrainians were attempting to undermine Trump’s campaign. Now, naturally Trump is gonna have to go outside existing channels because existing channels were part of it. Existing channels were Vindman’s precious deep state. They were part of the process and remain part of the process to undermine the Trump campaign.

And then after Trump was elected, they continued and still are continuing the effort to overturn the election results. So Vindman took it upon himself — who does he work for? This is the question. Who does Vindman work for? Us? The United States or Ukraine? Because here he is clearly undermining the actions and desires of the president. If the president sends somebody over to Ukraine just because he’s not in the State Department does not make him nongovernment.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: So now we’re into the second week here of the so-called public hearings. You know something, folks? There hasn’t been a shred of evidence presented by anybody that Trump has committed any kind of so-called high crime, misdemeanor, bribery, outrage, whatever it is. None. All we have had is a bunch of upset diplomats who disagree with Trump’s way of doing foreign policy and the substance of his foreign policy — and they primarily have their noses out of joint because they were excluded.

And they were excluded because they are part of the cabal that has been attempting to undermine him. Everything Donald Trump has done makes perfect common sense. The people who have been trying to ruin him are people he has been excluding in the implementation of foreign policy — which in Ukraine was to reverse the debacle of the Obama foreign policy, and to once again provide military assistance. Obama provided none.

Trump provided it. These people say that Trump should be impeached because he delayed it. Delayed it. In fact, they haven’t even said he should be impeached. None of the witnesses last week could identify an impeachable offense in the phone call. None of the two witnesses today have even provided any evidence of any criminal activity. If we ever needed any proof that Trump needed to go outside the normal channels, these hearings are it.

These witnesses are proving the need to go outside normal channels. The normal channels bollocks things up. The normal channels resulted in Ukraine not being able to defend itself when the Russians did attack. Yet Vindman claims he’s warning the new Ukraine president to be leery of the Russians (chuckles) after they’ve already annexed Crimea. Vindman and Jennifer Williams and all the rest of these people, they sniff their noses… (sniff, sniff) They sniff, they sniff at the outside people that Trump is using, like Rudy.

But Giuliani was the president’s personal representative. He’s not nongovernment. He’s just not from the channel. Volker and Sondland, they are both U.S. ambassadors who have been confirmed as ambassadors by bipartisan Senate votes. They’re not outside the channels. They just don’t happen to agree with the existing channel. Let me get started on the phones. We have a great, great question here. This is Elise in Mount Airy, North Carolina. Welcome. It’s great to have you with us. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. Mega dittos, Rush.

RUSH: Thank you.

CALLER: Well, my question is, who gave Colonel Vindman the authority to determine who had a need to know or not? I’m a veteran. My husband’s a retired lieutenant colonel, and that’s not a decision that he would have able to make of his own accord.

RUSH: That is such a great question — and in fact, it has been learned at these hearings today. Jim Jordan asked Lieutenant Colonel Vindman why he didn’t go to his boss when he heard the supposed outrage demand on this phone call. Why didn’t he go to his boss? His boss is Tim Morrison. Why didn’t he follow his own chain? And instead Vindman went to a lawyer. A lawyer? So Jim Jordan said, “Why did you go to a lawyer and not tell your boss?”

Morrison is a Trump ally. That’s why Vindman didn’t go to Morrison. So Jim Jordan says, “Why did you go to the lawyer?” And Vindman said, “Well, it was a busy week. It was a busy week that week,” and eventually the lawyer that he went to told him not to go to anybody else. So let’s reconstruct it. Vindman’s in on the call, he hears it, and he hears something he thinks can cause Trump a lot of trouble.

So he leaves the call, he tells George Kent, and then a lawyer — who is somebody in the intelligence community. He got that far before Schiff cut him off. Somebody in the intelligence community. I don’t know. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Brennan, but that’s just my opinion, and that’s just my assumption — ad that’s all any of these witnesses have is their frigging opinions.

So the lawyer told him not to go to anybody else, and then somehow Ciaramella finds out about it all. So the truth is that this is crumbling before our eyes if you have any objectivity at all. And it turns out that Betsy McCaughey was right in her piece in the New York Post today. Vindman is having trouble. Does that help answer your question, Elise, or were you thinking of something else?

CALLER: Well, if he went to a person outside… I mean, I can understand that he went to Kent, but then he said he went to somebody, an outside intelligence agency.

RUSH: Right.

CALLER: How did he feel like he had the authority to go to that person, ’cause it’s all based on a need to know?

RUSH: So your husband you said has some experience. How would you answer that? I can only assume and offer my opinion.

CALLER: Well, my assumption is that he didn’t have permission because this guy was not in the chain of need to know. He’d been booted out of the White House two years before that if we know Ciaramella is the person.

RUSH: You… (crosstalk) Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Not… (crosstalk) Wait, wait, wait. Not Vindman. Vindman had not been booted out. Ciaramella had.

CALLER: The whistleblower had.

RUSH: Right, the whistleblower had.

CALLER: Yes. So he had no business taking need-to-know information to somebody outside —

RUSH: Okay. Wait. Just to make sure are you talking about Vindman taking information or Ciaramella now?

CALLER: No. Vindman.

RUSH: Okay.

CALLER: How did Vindman have permission to go to anybody outside that immediate office, because it’s all based on a need to know.

RUSH: Well, look, there’s a simple answer to this, because this is so abnormal. It’s so abnormal that anybody on a phone call reports it —

CALLER: Yes.

RUSH: — to a lawyer or to the opposition party or to the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Vindman was on a mission. He was given an assignment — and he was following orders, I believe. You say he didn’t have a need to know. Maybe not. I think he was following orders. This guy’s clearly an order taker. The one thing that we have learned about Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, he is an order taker.

And if he’s given orders from somebody that he considers a superior, he will take them no matter what. He’ll follow them. He just doesn’t take orders from Trump. Trump is not legitimate in his mind. In his world, he doesn’t answer to the commander-in-chief as long as it’s Trump so he’s answering to somebody else. I think it’s clear that this was a setup. It’s clear the Democrats were waiting for something like this to happen because the whistleblower went to Schiff first. This the whole thing was orchestrated, including Vindman’s role in it.

CALLER: Ditto. (laughing)

RUSH: Yeah, that’s what you’re obviously thinking.

CALLER: Yes.

RUSH: Precisely. Your question: He didn’t have the authority to do this, yet he did it?

CALLER: Yes absolutely.

RUSH: Okay. Where did he get the authority? Well, he’s following somebody’s orders because that’s what Vindman does.

CALLER: Yeah.

RUSH: We gotta be very careful talking about Vindman. Following orders is a very great thing, folks. We very much admire people who follow orders.

CALLER: (laughing)

RUSH: (laughing) But that question: “Why didn’t you go to your boss, Tim Morrison, with your concerns? Why did you go to a lawyer?” He said, “Well, it was a busy week, a busy week.” “A busy week? You mean you couldn’t follow the chain of command because it was a busy week? You couldn’t call Tim Morrison?” Tim Morrison’s a Trump ally, for the most part. So he calls a lawyer in the intelligence community, because that was the plan.

By the way, thank you Elise, very much. Grab sound bite number 31. This is also something I mentioned to you, but I want you to hear for yourself. Will Hurd, Republican from Texas, is talking to Vindman about what he met Zelensky. Now, remember, in the morning session Zelensky was supposedly warned by Vindman about two things. Vindman gave him advice.

Schiff said (paraphrasing), “Why did you want to give him advice?” “Because there were outside actors working. I wanted him to be very leery of the Russians and to stay out of domestic politics.” So Vindman’s on record saying that he personally talked to the president of Ukraine, gave him this great advice. Will Hurd asked him about it in the afternoon session.

HURD: How many times have you met President Zelensky?

VINDMAN: I think it was just the one time from the presidential delegation, multiple engagements, but just the one trip.

HURD: And that’s a one-on-one meeting?

VINDMAN: That was in a bilateral — larger bilateral format. Then there were a couple of smaller venue — they were all in — there was never a one-on-one, but there were a couple of, again, touch points, so the bilateral meeting, handshake meet-and-greet.

HURD: So there was a lot of people in the room —

VINDMAN: Yeah. Yes, congressman.

HURD: — when you met with him, but you still advised the Ukrainian president to watch out for the Russians?

VINDMAN: Yes.

HURD: And everybody else in the room, I’m assuming the national security adviser was there, I believe in this case you had other members of the administration. Was that — were your points preapproved? Did they know you were gonna bring up those points?

VINDMAN: We did have a huddle beforehand and it’s possible I flagged them, but I don’t — I don’t recall specifically. It’s possible I didn’t.

HURD: And you counseled the Ukrainian president to stay out of U.S. politics?

VINDMAN: Correct.

RUSH: Right. Anybody buying this? Big bilateral meeting. It was a handshake meet-and-greet! Will Hurd set him up big time. (imitating exchange) “So how many times you met Zelensky?” “Oh, one time. Presidential delegation. Multiple engagements, but just the one trip.” “One-on-one meeting?” “Well, no. Bilateral, larger bilateral format, couple smaller venues. Never a one-on-one.” “So a lot of people in the room when you met with him?” “Yes, congressman.”

“But you still advised the Ukrainian president to watch out for the Russians. There’s all of kind of people in the room. It’s not a one-on-one. It’s a meet-and-greet, and you still advised the new president to be on the lookout for the Russians?” “Yes, sir.” “Did they know that you were gonna bring up these points? Did you get clearance for this?” “Well, we had a huddle beforehand. It’s possible I flagged ’em, but I don’t recall.”

What Vindman has admitted to here is one of two things. Either he’s totally made this up or he went way outside the chain of command and in a setting that was not meant for serious policy discussions. He, in front of his superiors, starts warning the new president of Ukraine to be on the lookout for the Russians. And his superiors had no idea he was gonna do it. Sorry, folks. My opinion is, my assumption is that something is very, very strange in Denmark here.

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RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, I think Lieutenant Colonel Vindman has a very, very exalted idea of his importance. I think he really believes that he is a much bigger factor than he may be. For example, now, this is what he claimed. He claims that he needed to advise the newly elected president of Ukraine to be on the lookout for the Russians. He had to be very, very wary of the Russians.

Really? You think the president of Ukraine, a country that was invaded by the Russians and had one-third of its country annexed a few years ago, you think the new president had to be told by a lieutenant colonel to watch out for the Russians? Did everybody there laugh out loud when this happened?

The Russians moved in and annexed one-third of Ukraine, Crimea, under the old president while Obama was president, and we did nothing to stop it. And now we got the new president who was elected in part because the old president didn’t do diddly-squat, did not get any aid from the United States. The new guy has a much better relationship with us, and Vindman’s telling this guy whose country was just invaded a few years previous, “Be on the lookout for the Russians”?

I mean, this is the kind of thing that if it really happened, people in that room would be laughing out loud. Where was Lieutenant Colonel Vindman when the op-ed was written by the Ukrainian ambassador to Washington? It was August of 2016 slamming Trump. Ukraine released sensitive — well, never mind now. I can’t read it. But it’s irrelevant to me that — or it’s impossible to believe Vindman’s version of events here.

But he wanted it on the record that he advised the president of Ukraine to be on the lookout for the Russians and to be very leery of domestic U.S. policy interfering. And who’s gonna step forward and say that it didn’t happen? ‘Cause it all happened within the cabal of the deep state.

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