Fiona Hill says Trump was fixated on Putin, not Russia

Greg Nash

Fiona Hill, a former National Security Council official and White House adviser who served in the Trump administration, said former President Trump’s “fixation” was on Russian President Vladimir Putin and not the country itself.

Hill, during a Tuesday appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” said Trump saw qualities in Putin that he wanted to emulate.

“For Trump, his fixation was on Putin. It wasn’t on Russia it was on Putin himself, it’s what he saw in Putin that he saw many qualities that he wanted to have himself,” Hill said.

Hill, a specialist in Russian affairs, was thrust into the spotlight in 2019 after she delivered damning testimony as part of Trump’s first impeachment inquiry. Democrats used that testimony to build their case that the then-president attempted to leverage U.S. military aid to persuade Ukraine to launch a probe into Hunter Biden, the son of the then-Democratic nominee for president Joe Biden.

Hill, when asked on “Morning Joe” if the Russians may have something on Trump that made him act deferential towards Putin, said “you can be sure that they had something.”

She said that because Trump as a businessman sought to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, it is likely that the Russians collected information on him. She added that it is common practice for Moscow to gather information on people who is mulling business plans in the country.

Hill, however, emphasized how Putin likes to manipulate people, and how Trump became a target of that.

“The biggest thing was the ability to manipulate, because what Vladimir Putin likes to do is find out what buttons he can push, you know, people’s vulnerabilities, and that’s what he honed into on in the case of President Trump,” she said.

Hill made headlines again in June when reports surfaced that she and other ex-Trump officials helped President Biden prepare for his summit with Putin.

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