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- Sen. Marsha Blackburn, of Tennessee, on Thursday questioned Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman's patriotism and deemed him "vindictive."
- By Friday, #marshablackburnistrash and #moscowmarsha were trending on Twitter.
- Vindman's attorney, David Pressman, called her attacks an act of "cowardice" while Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) deemed them repugnant.
- In return, Twitter users impugned Blackburn's morals and slammed her decision to disrespect a Purple Heart recipient.
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Sen. Marsha Blackburn on Thursday posted several incendiary tweets about Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, questioning his patriotism and labeling him "vindictive."
Twitter exploded. By Friday morning, #marshablackburnistrash and #moscowmarsha were trending.
The drama unfolded during President Donald Trump's impeachment trial when Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) painted a picture of Vindman as an "American patriot," and Blackburn vehemently — and publicly — disagreed.
As the director of European Affairs for the White House National Security Council, Vindman was on Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. While testifying before the House, Vindman admitted that he was concerned by Trump's request for Ukraine to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and decided to escalate what he'd heard.
Ukraine was anticipating nearly $400 million in US aid to bolster its efforts to resist Russian advances in the region. On the now infamous call, Zelensky inquired about the funds, which the Eastern European country hadn't yet received, to which Trump replied by asking for a favor. This apparent "quid pro quo" is at the heart of the ongoing impeachment proceedings against Trump, which began when a whistleblower from within the US intelligence community filed a complaint alleging wrongdoing at the highest levels of the administration.
On Twitter, Blackburn impugned Vindman by accusing him of feeding information to "his pal," the whistleblower.
Vindman's attorney, David Pressman, decried Blackburn's tweets in a statement to CNN, saying: "This difficult moment in our country calls for seriousness and seriousness of purpose. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman has sacrificed enormously for our country."
"That a member of the Senate — at a moment when the Senate is undertaking its most solemn responsibility — would choose to take to Twitter to spread slander about a member of the military is testament to cowardice," he continued.
People on Twitter took that argument up several notches.
—Militant for Education (@kclatham22) January 24, 2020
—FreddieBrabson (@freddiebrabson) January 24, 2020
—Laz (@LUIS_2SIK) January 24, 2020
—Enough's Enough (@DanaNcolorado) January 24, 2020
—Jess In Texas (@JessInTexas1) January 24, 2020
—Sydney (@SquidneyFrankey) January 24, 2020
On Friday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) added to the litany of criticism levied at Blackburn, telling The Hill her comments were "striking and repugnant."
—The Hill (@thehill) January 24, 2020
Representatives for Blackburn didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
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