If you’re going to challenge an investigative reporter on his or her facts expect to get a detailed reply, and that’s precisely what Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman saw on Friday in response to his testimony against John Solomon.
A former columnist and executive vice president of digital video at The Hill, Solomon’s reporting on Ukraine corruption and election meddling in 2016 has been central to the Ukrainian controversy involving former Vice President Joe Biden.
A veteran reporter, the liberal media dismisses Solomon as a “right-wing” journalist who spreads conspiracy theories.
Vindman serves on the National Security Council and there is a strong suspicion he may have been the individual who leaked information on the call between President Trump and the leader of Ukraine to the whistleblower, who was not on the call.
It appears Vindman acquired a new title, courtesy of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who tweeted on Friday about “Vindman and whistleblowers like him” being patriots.
LTC Alexander Vindman and whistleblowers like him are patriots.
They are standing up for the Constitution they swore an oath to defend.
They don’t deserve these disgraceful attacks, and they must be protected from reprisals.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) November 22, 2019
While testifying last week at the Democrats’ dog and pony impeachment show trial, Vindman said of Solomon’s reporting, “I think all the key elements were false.”
He was pressed by Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y.
“Just so I understand what you mean when you say ‘key elements,’ are you referring to everything John Solomon stated or just some of it?” the congressman asked.
“All the elements that I just laid out for you. The criticisms of corruption were false … Were there more items in there, frankly, congressman? I don’t recall. I haven’t looked at the article in quite some time, but you know, his grammar might have been right,” Vindman replied.
Solomon responded on Friday to Vindman’s testimony with a 28-point rebuttal listing “primary factual elements” in his Ukraine reporting, complete with attribution and links to sourcing — there is a heavy emphasis on Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, and the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings.
“Such testimony has been injurious to my reputation, one earned during 30 years of impactful reporting for news organizations that included The Associated Press, The Washington Post, The Washington Times and The Daily Beast/Newsweek,” Solomon wrote.
Solomon then challenged Vindman to either publicly produce evidence that proves his reporting wrong or to correct his testimony — in effect, put up or shut up.
“Lt. Col. Vindman, if you have information that contradicts any of these 28 factual elements in my columns I ask that you make it publicly available. Your testimony did not,” the investigative reporter concluded.
“If you don’t have evidence these 28 facts are wrong,” Solomon added, “I ask that you correct your testimony because any effort to call factually accurate reporting false only misleads America and chills the free debate our Constitutional framers so cherished to protect.”
Suffice it to say, this is likely not the last we hear from Solomon on the matter.
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., in his opening statement Tuesday during the Democrats’ impeachment hearing, said the media is “furiously smearing and libeling” Solomon because his reporting is not convenient to the opposition party’s prescribed narrative.
(After Solomon reportedly emailed one of his articles to pro-Trump individuals, The Washington Post reported he “is tangentially part of the outside group working with Trump attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani to raise questions about Ukraine.”)
“Now that Solomon’s reporting is a problem for the Democrats, it is a problem for the media as well,” Nunes said.
“The media, of course, are free to act as Democrat puppets and they are free to lurch from the Russia hoax to the Ukraine hoax at the direction of their puppet masters,” he went on to say. “But they cannot reasonably expect to do so without alienating half the country who voted for the president that they are trying to expel.”