Fiona Hill's Comments Don't Sit Well With Trump

Former adviser accused him of 'pulling a Putin' on Jan. 6
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2022 11:44 AM CDT
Fiona Hill's Comments Don't Sit Well With Trump
Fiona Hill speaks to journalists at Grand Rapids Community College's Spectrum Theater on Feb. 28, 2022, in Michigan.   (Cory Morse/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

(Newser) – In an interview with the New York Times Magazine, Fiona Hill—a specialist on Russia and Vladimir Putin who advised presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump—offered critiques of all three former leaders. For example, she remembers that she "winced" when Obama defied advice and publicly dissed Putin more than once, including after his invasion of Crimea. "He either didn't understand the man or willfully ignored the advice." But it's her criticism of Trump in particular that has caught most of the attention:

  • "In the course of his presidency, indeed, Trump would come more to resemble Putin in political practice and predilection than he resembled any of his recent American presidential predecessors," said Hill.

  • She recalled watching the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol and saw it as "Trump pulling a Putin" by attempting to remain in office. She saw this "thread" going back to Trump's controversial dealings (and famous phone call) with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
  • She referred to Trump loyalists blindly loyal to him as "Gollums," a reference to the Lord of the Rings character undone by obsession. So who were the Trump Gollums? "The ones who wouldn't testify in his impeachment hearing," she said. "Quite a few people, in other words."
  • Trump's response: The former president had a succinct response to the remarks from the English-born Hill: "She doesn't know the first thing she's talking about. If she didn't have the accent she would be nothing."
(Read more Fiona Hill stories.)

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