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Impeachment witness Alexander Vindman draws laughs as he tells hearing he speaks 'Russian, Ukranian and a little bit of English' - and slams Devin Nunes for calling him Mr and not Lt Colonel

Alexander Vindman drew laughs as the second week of House impeachment hearings got underway Tuesday, testifying he speaks 'Russian, Ukranian and a little bit of English'. 
Vindman, 44, an Iraq war veteran, smiled as he delivered the line during the televised event as one of two witnesses appearing before the House Intelligence Committee.
His joke was well received among those watching the testimony live and earned Vinderman praise online.  
The Purple Heart colonel also slammed top Republican Devin Nunes, 46, for calling him Mr and not Lt Colonel during the hearing in the House of Representatives.  
In the awkward exchange Rep. Nunes stated: 'Mr. Vindman, you testified in your deposition that you did not know the whistleblower.'
Vindman replied: 'Ranking member, it's Lt. Col. Vindman, please.'  
Alexander Vindman smiles as he jokes he speaks 'Russian, Ukranian and a little bit of English'
Alexander Vindman smiles as he jokes he speaks 'Russian, Ukranian and a little bit of English'
Lt. Col. Vindman jokes about the languages he speaks during hearing
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Vindman slammed top Republican Devin Nunes, pictured, for calling him Mr and not Lt Colonel during the hearing in the House of Representatives. When called 'Mr. Vindman' by Nunes, he replied: 'Ranking member, it's Lt. Col. Vindman, please'
Vindman slammed top Republican Devin Nunes, pictured, for calling him Mr and not Lt Colonel during the hearing in the House of Representatives. When called 'Mr. Vindman' by Nunes, he replied: 'Ranking member, it's Lt. Col. Vindman, please'
Lt. Col. Vindman corrects Nunes for calling him the wrong prefix
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Vindman arrived in his full military dress uniform, as he did during his first closed-door deposition, but not his second Capitol appearance. As Schiff noted, he was born in the former Soviet Union, and came to the U.S. as a toddler. 
He appeared to relax into the role as his testimony went on, after appearing visibly nervous reading his opening statement.
Online his joke about speaking 'a little bit of English' drew praise. One user said the exchange was 'simply adorable'. Another said it made him seem 'real and relatable'.
Viewer Larry Douglas said: 'Like this guy already. Kind of person you want on your team.' 
Dr Jack Brown said Vindman's 'improv humor' would 'make him less nervous, make him more difficult for the Republicans to attack' and 'endeared him to the public'. 
Vindman testified alongside Mike Pence aide Jennifer Williams Tuesday morning while former Ukraine special envoy Kurt Volker, and Tim Morrison are scheduled to testify in the afternoon. 
In his closed-door testimony Vindman, claimed that Trump-appointed U.S. ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland's push for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens was 'inappropriate' and said he was 'concerned' by what he heard on Trump's call. 
Vindman testified Tuesday that when he raised his concerns about a White House Ukraine meeting and a presidential phone call: ' I did so out of a sense of duty.'
'My intent was to raise these concerns because they have significant national security concerns for our country. I never thought that I would be sitting here testifying to this committee and the American public about my actions,' Vindman told lawmakers. 
Online Vindman's joke about speaking 'a little bit of English' drew praise from viewers
Online Vindman's joke about speaking 'a little bit of English' drew praise from viewers
Republican lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee were expected to try and discredit Vindman, who arrived on Capitol Hill in his full dress uniform on Tuesday morning.
Both Trump and Republicans have suggested he is against the president. Democrats consider him their star witness.
Vindman called 'character attacks' on 'distinguished and honorable public servants' reprehensible.
He spoke of his love of country, provided a sharp contrast with life in the U.S. compared to the country his parents fled, and even addressed comments to his father, who fled the Soviet Union.
He testified in his opening statement: 'I also recognize that my simple act of appearing here today just like the courage of my colleagues who have also truthfully testified before this committee would not be tolerated in many places around the world. 
'In Russia, my act of expressing concern to the chain of command in an official and private channel would have severe personal and professional repercussions and to offer it in public testimony involving the president would surely cost me my life.
'I'm grateful to my father for his brave act of hope 40 years ago and for the privilege of being an American citizen and public servant. Where I can live free of fear for mine and my family's safety.'
Then he addressed remarks to his father: 'Dad, I'm sitting here today in the U.S. Capitol talking to our elected professionals, talking to our elected representatives, proof that you made the right decision to leave the Soviet Union and come here to the United States of America in search of a better life for our family. 
'Do not worry. I will be fine for telling the truth.'
Vindman's joke was well received as impeachment hearings got underway Tuesday
Vindman's joke was well received as impeachment hearings got underway Tuesday
Williams in her opening statement that she found Trump's July 25 call with the Ukrainian president 'unusual' because 'in contrast to other presidential calls I had observed, it involved discussion of what appeared to be a domestic political matter. 
She noted she had served in the George W. Bush administration under Condoleezza Rice and Michael Chertoff. 
The latest round of hearings will stretch from Tuesday to Thursday before the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee. 
Seeking to build on last week's testimony by three key witnesses, Democrats leading the inquiry - the first public impeachment drama in two decades - will continue trying to make the case that Trump abused the power of his office.
Denying any wrongdoing, Trump, who railed on Twitter and elsewhere against the proceedings and attacked witnesses by name last week and over the weekend, has shown no sign of a let-up in his confrontational approach.
At the heart of the inquiry is a July 25 phone call in which Trump asked Zelensky to open a corruption investigation into Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, and into a discredited theory that Ukraine, not Russia, meddled in the 2016 U.S. election. 

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