Conservatives Say Schiff Essentially Outed Vindman as the ‘Whistleblower’s’ Source

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 19: Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks during testimony from Jennifer Williams, adviser to Vice President Mike Pence for European and Russian affairs, and National Security Council Director for European Affairs Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman as ranking member Devin Nunes (R-CA) listens during a hearing before …
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An interjection from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) on the need to “protect the whistleblower” has many conservatives saying that the chairman essentially outed Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman as the so-called “whistleblower’s” source. The claim, if true, calls Schiff’s and Vindman’s previous claims, that they do not know the identity of the “whistleblower,” into question.

Nunes asked Vindman during Tuesday’s hearing if he discussed the July 25 phone call “with anyone outside the White House”  and added, “if so, with whom?”

Vindman confirmed that he spoke to two individuals who were not in the White House but said they were “cleared U.S. government officials, with appropriate need to know.” He named one of the individuals — Department of State Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent — but oddly refused to name the other, describing him or her as an “individual in the intelligence community.”

“What — as you know, the intelligence community has 17 different agencies. What agency was this individual from?” Nunes asked, prompting Schiff to interrupt and express his desire to “protect the whistleblower.”

“I want to make sure that there’s no effort to out the whistleblower through the use of these proceedings,” Schiff stated.

“If the witness has a good faith belief that this may reveal the identity of the whistleblower, that is not the purpose that we are here for, and I want to advise the witness accordingly,” he continued in what some say was an attempt to coach Vindman.

The exchange continued:

Nunes: Mr. Vindman, you testified at your deposition that you did not know the whistleblower.

Vindman: Ranking member, it’s Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, please.

Nunes: Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, you testified in the deposition that you did not know who the whistleblower was, or is.

Vindman: I do not know who the whistleblower is, that is correct.

Nunes: So how is it possible for you to name these people and then out the whistleblower?

Vindman: Per the advice of my counsel, I’ve been advised not to answer specific questions about members of the intelligence community.

Nunes: This is — are you aware that this is the Intelligence Committee that’s conducting an impeachment hearing?

Many conservatives on Twitter say the exchange — Vindman refusing to name the second source and Schiff interjecting to reiterate his desire to “protect” the “whistleblower,” essentially indicates that Vindman is the “whistleblower’s” source. If true, it calls Schiff’s and Vindman’s claims, that they do not know the identity of the so-called “whistleblower,” into question.

“Vindman and Schiff are essentially acknowledging that Vindman was the whistleblower’s source,” GOP strategist Arthur Schwartz said. “They’re also both saying that neither of them know who the whistleblower is. So they’re both lying”:

“Vindman not wanting to discuss who in the intelligence community he talked to about this whole thing. Schiff cuts off question,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) noted. “Very interesting”:

“This is incredibly bizarre & doesn’t pass the smell test,” Kayleigh McEnany, national press secretary for President Trump’s 2020 campaign, said of the exchange:

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