House Democrats Criticize Fox News Commentary About Impeachment Witness

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman- Getty - H 2019
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

"I find this statement reprehensible," a House Democrat said of comments made about Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified on Tuesday.

During impeachment testimony on Tuesday, House Democrats took aim at comments made by Fox News opinion hosts about the morning's star witness, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a Democrat, called out the network in his opening statement. "Col. Vindman, we have seen far more scurrilous attacks on your character," he said. "And watched as certain personalities on Fox have questioned your loyalty. I know that you have shed blood for America, and we owe you an immense debt of gratitude. I hope no one on this committee will become part of those vicious attacks."

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi was even more specific, calling out comments made by Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade in late October about Vindman, who emigrated from Ukraine as a child.

In the afternoon portion of the hearing, Krishnamoorthi told Vindman: "Recently Fox News host Brian Kilmeade said he — meaning you — 'were born in the Soviet Union, emigrated with his family young. He tends to feel simpatico with the Ukraine.' I find this statement reprehensible because it appears that your immigrant heritage is being used against you."

Added Krishnamoorthi, "From one immigrant American to another immigrant American, I want to say to you that you and your family represent the very best of America."

During his commentary, made on the Oct. 29 edition of the Fox News morning show, Kilmeade did mention that Vindman received a Purple Heart due to a combat wound.

Schiff may also have been referring to an Oct. 28 episode of Laura Ingraham's primetime show, during a conversation with a guest, former Bush administration lawyer John Yoo. "Now, wait a second, John,” Ingraham said. “Here we have a U.S. national security official who is advising Ukraine, while working inside the White House, apparently against the president’s interest, and usually they spoke in English. Isn’t that kind of an interesting angle on this story?!”

Yoo, an unpaid Fox News guest, replied: "I find that astounding. Some people might call that espionage."

The House Democrats on Tuesday did not call out comments made about Vindman by a CNN contributor, former Republican congressman Sean Duffy. "It seems very clear that he is incredibly concerned about Ukrainian defense," Duffy said on the network. "I don’t know that he’s concerned about American policy, but his main mission was to make sure that the Ukraine got those weapons. I understand that. We all have an affinity to our homeland where we came from."

Duffy's comments about Vindman were criticized by his colleagues on-air, with CNN anchor Brianna Keilar calling them "anti-immigrant bigotry."