House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) abruptly cut off his star impeachment witness, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman after he admitted to speaking with an intelligence official about the July 25 Ukraine call.

Ranking House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) asked Vindman, “Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, did you discuss the July 25th phone call with anyone outside the White House on July 25th or the 26th and if so with whom?”

“Yes. I did,” Vindman responded. “My core function is to coordinate U.S. Government policy and I spoke to two individuals with regards to providing a — some sort of readout of the call … Not in the White House. Cleared U.S. Government officials with the appropriate need to know.”

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When Nunes asked Vindman what agencies these officials were from, the witness replied that he spoke with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent as well as an intelligence official.

Nunes then asked which agency the intelligence official was from, prompting Schiff to interrupt, claiming he needed to “protect the whistleblower.”

“Please stop,” said Schiff. “I want to make sure that there is no effort to out the whistleblower through these proceedings. If the witness has a good faith belief that this may reveal the identity of the whistleblower, that is not the purpose that we’re here for. I want to advise the witness accordingly.”

Nunes said to Vindman, “You testified in the deposition that you did not know who the whistleblower was…How is it possible for you to name these people and then out the whistleblower?”

The witness replied, “Per the advice of my counsel, I have been advised not to answer specific questions about members of the intelligence community.”

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