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Conservative Lawyer Walks Back 'Espionage' Accusation, Says Trump's Ukraine Call Was a Quid Pro Quo

CNN

Former White House lawyer under George W. Bush, John Yoo, was on the receiving end of widespread backlash after he appeared to question the patriotism of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a Purple Heart recipient and the White House's top Ukraine expert, for testifying in the ongoing impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

Yoo seemed to accuse Vindman of "espionage" on Laura Ingraham's Fox News show, after noting that Vindman immigrated to the United States from Ukraine as a child.


Now, Yoo is singing an entirely different tune to Chris Cuomo on CNN.

Watch below.

Yoo told Cuomo that he was referring to Ukraine when he used the words "espionage," not to Lt. Col. Vindman.

“I wasn’t questioning Lt. Col. Vindman’s patriotism,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for people who wear the uniform.”

In a surprising twist, Yoo went even further, asserting that there was a quid pro quo in Trump's dealings with Zelensky, in which the President attempted to withhold military aid from the country until it opened investigations into his political rivals:

“I don’t have any doubts about that because you can read them in the transcript of the phone call that the White House released...[Vindman] is just confirming the facts that were already laid out in a previous testimony and in the telephone call."

Twitter was skeptical regarding Yoo's sincerity.

An apology from Laura Ingraham, however, is far less likely.