Trump’s attack on the Purple Heart recipient unnerved Republicans in Congress, with several pushing back, albeit without naming the president. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) called the offensive “misplaced and very unfortunate,” and said he had “full confidence” in Vindman “as an individual and his patriotism.”

The response from Trump’s party created an unusual dynamic in which Republicans were defending a man who was simultaneously accusing the president of undermining national security for his own political purposes. Privately, several Republicans found Vindman’s testimony to be damaging and lamented that once again they were forced to defend the president…

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who oversees Eurasia affairs on the Foreign Relations Committee and traveled with Vindman to Ukraine for Zelensky’s inauguration in May, said “anybody that served this nation and put themselves at risk is a patriot in my book.”

“Probably not real smart,” Johnson said of questions about Vindman’s patriotism.