KEY POINTS

  • Vindman argued that removing Trump from office could have saved 600,000 lives
  • He also blasted Trump for using his presidency to spread false information
  • The former lieutenant was a witness in Trump's impeachment inquiry over a phone call with the Ukrainian president

Retired Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman has blamed former President Donald Trump for hundreds of thousands of coronavirus-related deaths in the United States. 

Vindman made waves in 2019 when he served as a key witness in Trump’s impeachment hearings. Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday, he said Trump should have been removed from the White House to prevent the deaths of over 600,000 Americans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"If the president was held accountable and removed, we would have 600,000 more Americans walking the streets today. If they censured him, the president would have been on his heels, and he probably would have been more cautious going into COVID. We wouldn’t have had an economic disaster," Vindman said. 

The U.S. has recorded more than 35 million COVID-19 cases and 614,249 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University.

During the interview, the retired army lieutenant also accused Trump of using his presidency as a weapon to spread false information in an attempt to undermine the 2020 election. 

“That’s what makes the president such a powerful weapon for disinformation — the office of the president is so revered that it’s hard to fathom that the president of the United States is the corrupt individual,” he said.

Vindman was an important figure in the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into the former president. The army general had raised concerns over Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which he urged the foreign government to investigate Joe Biden’s family. The latter was a presidential candidate at the time. 

“There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it,” Trump said during the July 25, 2020 call, according to a transcript released by the White House and reported by CNN

The U.S. Senate later acquitted Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on Feb. 5, 2020. Vindman was fired by the National Security Council two days after Trump’s acquittal.

White House national security official Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was to testify that he witnessed improper efforts to pressure Ukraine to provide political support for President Donald Trump White House national security official Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was to testify that he witnessed improper efforts to pressure Ukraine to provide political support for President Donald Trump Photo: AFP / MANDEL NGAN