Fiona Hill (presidential advisor)
American policy adviser
- Putin now believes it is time to concentrate on strengthening Russia internally. In his annual “Message to the Federal Assembly” (the Russian equivalent of a State of the Union Message) in December 2012, Putin barely mentioned the outside world. The international system, he suggested, is fraught with risk for Russia, not opportunity. Russians, Putin commanded, need to turn inward. They should look to patriotism, not Westernism; to solidarity, not individualism; to spirituality, not consumerism and moral decay.
- Putin firmly opposes U.S. policy toward Syria and the threat of force against Iran. But his opposition stems neither from anti-Americanism nor a desire to back the Iranian mullahs or Syria’s Bashar al-Assad in their struggles with the West. It is rooted in his obsession with stability. Helping Tehran secure a nuclear weapon and keeping Assad in Damascus are not Putin’s goals. But an Israeli or U.S. attack on Iran’s nuclear sites, and NATO or the United Nations intervening in Syria to forcibly remove Assad, would increase global volatility.
- When you look at Russia today, you have to try to imagine to yourself "What would a country look like if it was run by a former KGB agent?" — and I think what we're seeing today, with all kinds of clandestine activity, all kinds of mysterious men … taking over Crimea, the peninsula attached to Ukraine, and affecting the situation on the ground so that later Russia can annex it — and then the kind of speeches that we've heard coming out of President Vladimir Putin about the justification of Russia's takeover or Crimea, going back into the long history of grievances against the west, dating back to the collapse of the Soviet Union, and even going back many centuries before, really, a long perspective on Russian history, this is the kind of thing you would have imagined from someone who has seen themself as a servant of the state, and as someone from an institution that sees themselves as the defender of that state. The KGB used to think of itself as the sword and the shield of the system of the state, the Soviet State — and then the Russian state after it collapsed. That is the emblem of the KGB.
- Our problem is that we do not fully understand Putin’s calculus, just as he does not understand ours. In Putin’s view, the United States, the European Union and NATO have launched an economic and proxy war in Ukraine to weaken Russia and push it into a corner. As Valery Gerasimov, chief of staff of the Russian armed forces, has underscored, this is a hybrid, 21st-century conflict, in which financial sanctions, support for oppositional political movements and propaganda have all been transformed from diplomatic tools to instruments of war. Putin likely believes that any concession or compromise he makes will encourage the West to push further.
- Putin was personally angered by events in Libya and the death of President Mammar Qaddafi at the hands of rebels as Qaddafi tried to flee Tripoli after NATO’s intervention in the civil war there. In Putin’s view (again expressed openly in his public addresses and in interviews), the United States was now responsible for a long sequence of revolutions close to Russia’s borders and in countries with close ties to Moscow.
- Understanding and deterring Russia: U.S. policies and strategies, Brookings (10 February 10, 2016)
House Intelligence Committee impeachment hearing (2019)Edit
- 7th House Intelligence Committee public impeachment hearing (21 November 2019) · Opening statement at Politico Full opening statement PDF at PBS News Hour
- I appreciate the importance of the Congress’s impeachment inquiry.
I am appearing today as a fact witness, as I did during my deposition on October 14th, in order to answer your questions about what I saw, what I did, what I knew, and what I know with regard to the subjects of your inquiry. I believe that those who have information that the Congress deems relevant have a legal and moral obligation to provide it.
I take great pride in the fact that I am a nonpartisan foreign policy expert, who has served under three different Republican and Democratic presidents. I have no interest in advancing the outcome of your inquiry in any particular direction, except toward the truth.
- I would like to communicate two things.
First, I’d like to share a bit about who I am. I am an American by choice, having become a citizen in 2002. I was born in the northeast of England, in the same region George Washington’s ancestors came from. Both the region and my family have deep ties to the United States.
My paternal grandfather fought through World War I in the Royal Field Artillery, surviving being shot, shelled, and gassed before American troops intervened to end the war in 1918.
During the Second World War, other members of my family fought to defend the free world from fascism alongside American soldiers, sailors, and airmen.
The men in my father’s family were coalminers whose families always struggled with poverty.
When my father, Alfred, was 14, he joined his father, brother, uncles and cousins in the coal mines to help put food on the table.
When the last of the local mines closed in the 1960s, my father wanted to emigrate to the United States to work in the coal mines in West Virginia, or in Pennsylvania. But his mother, my grandmother, had been crippled from hard labor. My father couldn’t leave, so he stayed in northern England until he died in 2012. My mother still lives in my hometown today.
While his dream of emigrating to America was thwarted, my father loved America, its culture, its history and its role as a beacon of hope in the world. He always wanted someone in the family to make it to the United States.
- I began my University studies in 1984, and in 1987 I won a place on an academic exchange to the Soviet Union. I was there for the signing of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and when President Ronald Reagan met Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow. This was a turning point for me. An American professor who I met there told me about graduate student scholarships to the United States, and the very next year, thanks to his advice, I arrived in America to start my advanced studies at Harvard.
Years later, I can say with confidence that this country has offered for me opportunities I never would have had in England. I grew up poor with a very distinctive working-class accent. In England in the 1980s and 1990s, this would have impeded my professional advancement.
This background has never set me back in America. For the better part of three decades, I have built a career as a nonpartisan, nonpolitical national security professional focusing on Europe and Eurasia and especially the former Soviet Union.
- I have served our country under three presidents: in my most recent capacity under President Trump, as well as in my former position of National Intelligence Officer for Russia and Eurasia under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. In that role, I was the Intelligence Community’s senior expert on Russia and the former Soviet republics, including Ukraine.
- Based on questions and statements I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country — and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did. This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.
The unfortunate truth is that Russia was the foreign power that systematically attacked our democratic institutions in 2016. This is the public conclusion of our intelligence agencies, confirmed in bipartisan Congressional reports. It is beyond dispute, even if some of the underlying details must remain classified.
The impact of the successful 2016 Russian campaign remains evident today. Our nation is being torn apart. Truth is questioned. Our highly professional and expert career foreign service is being undermined. U.S. support for Ukraine — which continues to face armed Russian aggression — has been politicized.
- The Russian government’s goal is to weaken our country — to diminish America’s global role and to neutralize a perceived U.S. threat to Russian interests. President Putin and the Russian security services aim to counter U.S. foreign policy objectives in Europe, including in Ukraine, where Moscow wishes to reassert political and economic dominance.
I say this not as an alarmist, but as a realist. I do not think long-term conflict with Russia is either desirable or inevitable. I continue to believe that we need to seek ways of stabilizing our relationship with Moscow even as we counter their efforts to harm us. Right now, Russia’s security services and their proxies have geared up to repeat their interference in the 2020 election. We are running out of time to stop them. In the course of this investigation, I would ask that you please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests.
As Republicans and Democrats have agreed for decades, Ukraine is a valued partner of the United States, and it plays an important role in our national security. And as I told this Committee last month, I refuse to be part of an effort to legitimize an alternate narrative that the Ukrainian government is a U.S. adversary, and that Ukraine — not Russia — attacked us in 2016.
These fictions are harmful even if they are deployed for purely domestic political purposes. President Putin and the Russian security services operate like a Super PAC. They deploy millions of dollars to weaponize our own political opposition research and false narratives. When we are consumed by partisan rancor, we cannot combat these external forces as they seek to divide us against each another, degrade our institutions, and destroy the faith of the American people in our democracy.
- I respect the work that this Congress does in carrying out its constitutional responsibilities, including in this inquiry, and I am here to help you to the best of my ability. If the President, or anyone else, impedes or subverts the national security of the United States in order to further domestic political or personal interests, that is more than worthy of your attention. But we must not let domestic politics stop us from defending ourselves against the foreign powers who truly wish us harm.
I am ready to answer your questions.'
Quotes about HillEdit
- Sorted alphabetically by author or source
- Through H. R. McMaster, they implanted Fiona Hill, who is known simply for being at the Brookings Institute and writing a book-length attack on Vladimir Putin. She’s now kind of the in-house Russia expert.
- Hill conflated two separate theories of Ukrainian collusion in the 2016 election. One of these is discredited, the other is quite viable. Hill helped the Democrats suggest that they have both been debunked. Hill is too smart not to have grasped the effect of her testimony. This is exactly the kind of cynicism that fuels concerns about the unaccountable “deep state."
- Hill has been conditioned to believe Russian President Vladimir Putin and especially his security services are capable of anything, and thus sees a Russian under every rock — as we used to say of smart know-nothings ... A modicum of intellectual curiosity and rudimentary due diligence would have prompted her to look into who was in charge of preparing the (misnomered) “Intelligence Community Assessment” published on Jan. 6, 2017, which provided the lusted-after fodder for the “mainstream” media and others wanting to blame Hillary Clinton’s defeat on the Russians.
- If U.S. Attorney John Durham is allowed to do his job probing the origins of Russiagate, and succeeds in getting access to the “handpicked analysts” — whether there were just two, or more — Hill’s faith in “our intelligence agencies,” may well be dented if not altogether shattered.
- Ray McGovern: "The Pitfalls of a Pit Bull Russophobe", Consortium News (22 November 2019)
- On Thursday Fiona Hill, the former White House Russia expert, was all business, a serious woman you don’t want to mess with. She reoriented things, warning that those who excuse or don’t wish to see Russian propaganda efforts against America, and targeting its elections, are missing the obvious. The suspicion of the president and his allies that Ukraine is the great culprit in the 2016 election is a "fictional narrative." They are, in fact, bowing to disinformation Russia spreads to cover its tracks and confuse the American people and its political class. She dismissed the president’s operatives' efforts to get Ukraine’s new president to investigate his country’s alleged meddling as a "domestic political errand." She and other diplomats were "involved in national security, foreign policy," and the interests of the operatives and the diplomats had "diverged." She warned Mr. Sondland: "This is all going to blow up."
- Likewise, his (President Trump's) boss on the National Security Council Staff, Fiona Hill, sounded more like she had just stepped out of the 1950s with her heated Cold War rhetoric... And who gets to decide US foreign policy objectives in Europe? Not the US President, according to government bureaucrat Fiona Hill... Who was Fiona Hill’s boss? Former National Security Advisor John Bolton, who no doubt agreed that the president has no right to change US foreign policy.
- Folks, we are getting just plain sick and tired of this drumbeat of lies, misdirection and smug condescension by Washington payrollers like Fiona Hill. No Ukrainian interference in the 2016 US election? Exactly what hay wagon does she think we fell off from?
- This time it was Dr. Fiona Hill who sanctimoniously advised the House committee that there is nothing to see on the Ukraine front that involved any legitimate matter of state; it was just the Donald and his tinfoil hat chums jeopardizing the serious business of protecting the national security by injecting electioneering into relations with Ukraine.
- Yet Fiona Hill sat before a House committee and under oath insisted that all of the above was a Trumpian conspiracy theory, thereby reminding us that the neocon Russophobes are so unhinged that they are prepared to lie at the drop of a hat to keep their false narrative about the Russian Threat and Putin’s “invasion” of Ukraine alive. Needless to say, Fiona Hill is among the worst of the neocon warmongers, and has made a specialty of demonizing Russia and propagating over and over flat out lies about what happened in Kiev during 2014 and after.
- This is another remnant for Bush neocon team, a protégé of Bolton. Trump probably voluntarily appointed this rabid neocon, a chickenhawk who would shine in Hillary State Department.
- The Times of London, Miner's daughter tipped as Trump adviser on Russia (March 4, 2017).