A story from Fiona Hill’s childhood is going viral as the former National Security Council senior director for Europe and Russia testifies on Capitol Hill as part of the House Democrats’ ongoing impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama calls on Senate not to fill Ginsburg's vacancy until after election Planned Parenthood: 'The fate of our rights' depends on Ginsburg replacement Progressive group to spend M in ad campaign on Supreme Court vacancy MORE.

The story being shared by her supporters details an account from her childhood that her friends revealed to The New York Times in an article published on Thursday about her upbringing and the journey that led to her testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.

Her friends told the newspaper that a male classmate set her pigtail on fire when she was 11 years old and taking a test. Her friends said that Hill, now 51, extinguished the flame using just her hands before continuing her exam. 


Her friends added that Hill came from humble beginnings in England and was a tough kid before going on to receive a doctoral degree from Harvard University and taking a job with the Trump administration’s National Security Council.

The account from her childhood has been shared repeatedly online as the former official testifies before Congress.

Rep. Val DemingsValdez (Val) Venita DemingsFlorida Democrat introduces bill to recognize Puerto Rico statehood referendum Sunday shows - Trump team defends coronavirus response Demings slams GOP coronavirus relief bill: Americans 'deserve more than the crumbs from the table' MORE (D-Fla.) shared a post from New York Times correspondent Sheryl Gay Stolberg, writing: “Today, our democracy is on fire and Dr. Fiona Hill is once again helping put it out with her bare hands. #DefendOurDemocracy.”

“I mean....this woman,” former Rep. Katie HillKatherine (Katie) Lauren HillObama counsels NBA players on forming a social justice committee Republicans cast Trump as best choice for women House GOP campaign chairman insists party will win back majority MORE (D-Calif.) wrote in one tweet, while adding in another post: “I want to be Fiona Hill when I grow up.”

A number of other social media users also took to Twitter to support the former official by sharing the story.

The viral moment also came up during Hill’s testimony later on Thursday after Rep. Jackie SpeierKaren (Jackie) Lorraine Jacqueline SpeierOvernight Defense: House to vote on military justice bill spurred by Vanessa Guillén death | Biden courts veterans after Trump's military controversies House to vote on 'I Am Vanessa Guillén' bill Overnight Defense: Trump's battle with Pentagon poses risks in November | Lawmakers launch Fort Hood probe | Military members can't opt out of tax deferral MORE (D-Calif.) asked her if the story from her childhood was true.


“Dr. Hill, I want to verify this story. I understand that when you were 11 years old, there was a schoolboy who set your pigtails on fire. And you were taking a test, you turned around, and with your hands, snuffed out the fire and then proceeded to finish your test,” Speier states. “Is that a true story?”

“It is a true story,” Hill confirmed. “I was a bit surprised to see that pop up today. It's one of the stories I occasionally tell because it had some very unfortunate consequences and afterwards my mother gave me a bowl haircut.”

“So, for the school photograph later in that week, I looked like Richard III or as if I’m going to be in a permanent play,” Hill said, gesturing to her hair amid laughs from the audience. 

Speier said she thinks the story “underscores the fact that” Hill is truthful, adding: “I truly respect that.”