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Former Trump official Fiona Hill: 'President's actions have put us on the brink of civil war'

Former Trump National Security Council member Fiona Hill on Monday said that President TrumpDonald TrumpIran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries Pardon-seekers have paid Trump allies tens of thousands to lobby president: NYT MORE’s “actions have put us on the brink of civil war” after pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol last week. 

Hill, who served as the senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council, called the Capitol raid a “coup” in a Politico op-ed, saying that a coup does not need to be a “sudden, violent seizure of power involving clandestine plots and military takeovers.”

“Trump disguised what he was doing by operating in plain sight, talking openly about his intent,” she said. “He normalized his actions so people would accept them. I’ve been studying authoritarian regimes for three decades, and I know the signs of a coup when I see them.”

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The former Trump official said Trump’s efforts to stay in power during his presidency amounted to a “self-coup” that was ultimately unsuccessful. But she noted “the bad news is that his supporters still believe the false narrative” that the president won reelection after he and other Republicans have promoted unfounded claims that widespread voter fraud led to his loss.

“Trump has not repudiated it, nor have the House and Senate Republicans who voted against the Electoral College results,” she wrote. “Millions of people still think the election was stolen. They still support Trump the person, not the Republican Party, and many are prepared to take further action on his behalf.”

“As in the case of other coup attempts, the president’s actions have put us on the brink of civil war,” Hill continued. “Trump did not overturn the election results, but, just as he intended, he disrupted the peaceful democratic transition of executive power.”

Hill called on Republicans to counter the false claims that the election was illegitimate to prevent the constitutional order from being disrupted.

“If we are to restore democratic norms and make sure this does not happen again, these congressional Republicans will have to take personal responsibility for their actions in support of Trump’s coup attempt,” she wrote. “They must tell the truth to their constituents about the election and what the president tried to do in January 2021. They owe it to the people they represent as well as the country they serve.”

The former official’s op-ed comes less than a week after a pro-Trump mob raided the Capitol building after the president called them to gather in D.C. and encouraged them to march on the Capitol. The riots resulted in at least five deaths, including a Capitol Police officer and a woman shot by a different Capitol Police officer.

Since last week’s events, several companies, including Marriott, have halted donations to Republicans who voted to challenge the Electoral College results after the riots temporarily disrupted Congress’s certification of President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenFear of insider attack prompts additional FBI screening of National Guard troops: AP Iran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries MORE’s election win.