Transcript for Decorated combat veteran testifies about Trump-Ukraine call
And we didn't tonight with the first person working inside the white house to testify in the impeachment inquiry, spending hours already answering questions, defying a white house order not to appear. Lieu tenant listened in on that call between president trump and the president of Ukraine. What he says he heard on that call and then reported on multiple occasions. And tonight, what we have just learned from inside the questions, the shouting that erupted. Were members of congress trying to get the witness to reveal the whistle-blower? ABC's Mary Bruce leads us off from the hill tonight. Reporter: Lieutenant colonel Alexander vindman, a decorated combat veteran, arriving on capitol hill today. The first person working inside the white house to testify, and the first witness who listened in on the phone call between president trump and Ukrainian president volodoymyr zelensky. Vindman, who works on the national security council, telling lawmakers he was concerned that trump was pressuring zelensky to investigate Joe and investigate Joe Biden and his son, hunter. In his opening statement, vindman said, "I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. Citizen," adding that it would "Undermine U.S. National security." He said he was also troubled by the behavior of Gordon sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European union. In a meeting with Ukrainian officials, vindman recalled "Ambassador sondland started to speak about Ukraine delivering specific investigations in order to secure the meeting with the president." He says then national security adviser John Bolton interjected, cutting the meeting short. Later, vindman recalled he himself "Stated to ambassador sondland that his statements were inappropriate, that the request to investigate bidened and his son had nothing to do with national security." Vindman's testimony raising questions about what sondland told lawmakers. The ambassador claimed no one ever raised concerns with him about his approach towards Ukraine. Vindman says he reported his concerns about both the president's phone call and sondland's comments to his superior, citing a, quote, sense of duty. Republican leader Mitch Mcconnell today refusing to comment on these latest allegations. Dutz it concern you? Are you worried about the president's behavior at all? Look, I'm not going to question the patriotism of any of the people who are coming forward. The action is in the house now. Reporter: On Twitter, the president, without evidence, labeled vindman a "Never Trumper." Some of his allies questioned the lieutenant colonel's loyalty to the U.S., because vindman and his brother immigrated here from Ukraine when they were just 3 years old. Their story captured in the Ken burns documentary, "Statue of liberty." Our mother died, so, we went to Italy, then we came here. Reporter: He went on to serve in the army for more than 20 years, receiving a purple heart after being wounded in Iraq by a roadside bomb. Today, Republicans on the hill were quick to defend him. We're talking about decorated veterans who have served this nation, who have put their lives on the line, and it is shameful to question their patriotism, their love of this nation and we should not be involved in that process. Reporter: The colonel today described himself as a "Patriot," insisting "It is my sacred duty and honor to advance and defend our country, irrespective of party or politics." All right, so, let's get right to Mary Bruce, live up on the hill tonight. And Mary, we know Democrats have unveiled their plans for the public phase of this inquiry, public hearings. Republicans could call their own witnesses. That full house vote could happen as early as Thursday. But you have new reporting tonight about the shouting match that broke out inside today's hearing? Reporter: Well, David, this deposition got heated, with lawmakers shouting at each other. Democrats are accusing Republicans of pressing vindman in an effort to reveal who the whistle-blower is. But the colonel insists that he is not the whistle-blower and says he does not know who that person is. David? All right, Mary Bruce leading us off again tonight. Mary, thank you.
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