Rachel Vindman: Trump’s Re-Election Means ‘Full Authoritarianism’

Rachel Vindman: Trump’s Re-Election Means ‘Full Authoritarianism’


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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Donald Trump’s re-election would send the United States heading toward “full authoritarianism,” said Rachel Vindman, wife of retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who became a prominent figure in the run-up to Trump’s impeachment last year.

“We are choosing to be a country that celebrates white nationalists, that we are a country that celebrates division and is okay with it,” she said, speaking out for the first time since the impeachment. “And I don’t think that’s who the United States is. I don’t think that’s what the people want. And I think we’re seeing that. Four more years is, you know, kind of full authoritarianism, I think that’s what we’re going to see, not authoritarianism-lite. I think it’s people giving up their rights. I’m not sure why, but giving up their rights and freedoms.”

Lt Col Vindman, who served as director of European Affairs at the White House National Security Council, testified before Congress about Trump’s Ukraine scandal, which ultimately formed the basis of the abuse of power charges for which Trump was impeached.

Vindman retired from the US military after what had been an ongoing campaign of vengeful behavior from Trump and the administration after he complied with a subpoena and testified before Congress. A promotion to full colonel was abnormally stalled by the administration.

Trump’s revenge put Vindman and the family in danger, Rachel Vindman said.

“He just continually put Alex’s name out there. He seemed to be a little bit obsessed with it. He would, you know, continually remark on Vindman. And I think by continually saying his name, by telegraphing it to his supporters, that he continued to put us in danger by continuing to say our name,” she said. “And I think he also, you know, ended Alex’s military career by, whether he directly asked that Alex not be promoted, that’s probably not the case, but his enablers and the people around him knew that he would never find it acceptable if Alex were permitted to be promoted and have a normal career. So with or without the president asking for it, they decided to deliver it to him, which is something exactly that happens in authoritarian governments.”

Lt Col Vindman even had to withstand his patriotism questioned.

“I don’t think we ever anticipated his patriotism would be questioned. It was, you know — actually, I never expected that,” Rachel Vindman said. “It was the most gut-wrenching feeling. I never expected it. So it was just a sucker punch to see someone accuse him of being a traitor.”

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