- The Washington Times - Friday, November 22, 2019

One America News Network correspondent Emerald Robinson sparked condemnation from fellow media personalities over remarks she made about two naturalized U.S. citizens who recently testified in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Ms. Robinson, a White House correspondent for the right-wing cable network commonly abbreviated as OAN, came under fire after commenting Thursday on Twitter about former National Security Council official Fiona Hill and current NSC official Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman.

“Fiona Hill with that Prince Andrew accent, and ‘Defense Minister’ Vindman from the Ukraine…,” Ms. Robinson tweeted. “I’m wondering: are any Americans going to testify against Trump?”

Both individuals mentioned by the broadcaster are foreign-born American citizens with distinguished careers who testified during impeachment hearings held in the House of Representatives this week. Her tweet seemingly questioning their nationality was harshly condemned by fellow reporters before eventually being removed.

“What an ugly and, frankly, un-American thing to say,” CNN anchor Jake Tapper reacted on Twitter.

“This is vile, xenophobic, anti-immigrant garbage,” echoed New York Daily News politics reporter Chris Sommerfeldt.

Ms. Hill, 54, was born in England and became a U.S. citizen in 2002. She served as an intelligence analyst under former President George W. Bush and Barack Obama prior to acting as the Trump administration’s senior director for European and Russian affairs until resigning in July; Col. Vindman, 44, immigrated from the former Soviet Union as a child and has been serving in the U.S. military for 20 years. He joined the NSC last year as its director for European affairs and specializes in Ukraine.

Both witnesses testified during separate hearings held this week as part of impeachment proceedings triggered by the Trump administration withholding military assistance from Ukraine, and each has subsequently faced attacks from the president’s defenders.

Ms. Robinson said later Thursday that she deleted the tweet about the witnesses amid the controversy it caused because it was being “misconstrued,” denying that her critical opinion of Ms. Hill and Col. Vindman was was rooted in their “accents or naturalization.” She has since shared several other tweets raising other concerns regarding both witnesses.

Launched in 2013, OAN promotes itself as “fast becoming the 4th rated national cable news channel.” It regularly broadcasts laudatory coverage of Mr. Trump’s presidency, and it has previously complained about not being recognized accordingly.

“President Trump recently gave a speech, thanking his supporters in the media. Not a single mention of One America News — one of his GREATEST supporters,” the official OAN account tweeted in March 2019. “@OANN calls bull[expletive].”

That tweet has also been deleted. Mr. Trump has recognized the network repeatedly in the months since, including as recently as from his own Twitter account Thursday.

Messages requesting comment from Ms. Robinson and OAN were not immediately answered Friday.

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