Fiona Hill: “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 … propagated by the Russian security services.” pic.twitter.com/I5VWDOIVFq
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) November 21, 2019
Courtesy of NYT:
Fiona Hill, the former top Russia expert on the National Security Council, criticized Republicans on Thursday for propagating what she called a “fictional narrative” that Ukraine, not Russia, meddled in the 2016 elections, denouncing a theory embraced by President Trump.
She argued that the story was planted by Russia and dangerously played into Moscow’s hands, by sowing political divisions in the United States that adversaries are eager to exploit.
“These fictions are harmful even if they are deployed for purely domestic political purposes,” said Ms. Hill, the co-author of a 500-page book analyzing the psyche of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.
“President Putin and the Russian security services operate like a super PAC,” Ms. Hill explained. “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.
Ms. Hill called the claim about Ukraine’s interference a fake story invented by Russian intelligence services to destabilize the United States and deflect attention from their own culpability.
“In the course of this investigation, I would ask that you please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests,” Ms. Hill said. “These fictions are harmful even if they are deployed for purely domestic political purposes.”
I have to admit that the moment I heard Fiona Hill’s British accent I knew that Trump and his Republican defenders were in trouble.
Not only does she sound extraordinarily competent, she in fact is extraordinarily competent, and her testimony today was devastating to Trump’s defense.
And as if to back up her claim that this Ukraine fantasy was the work of the Kremlin, we hear this from Vladimir Putin himself.
Courtesy of WaPo:
Russian President Vladimir Putin says he’s pleased that the “political battles” in Washington have put on the back-burner accusations that Russia interfered in U.S. elections.
“Thank God,” he told an economic forum in the Russian capital on Wednesday, “no one is accusing us of interfering in the U.S. elections anymore; now they’re accusing Ukraine.”
Some Republicans have used the public hearings to tout a discredited conspiracy theory that blames Ukraine, not Russia, for interfering in the U.S.’s 2016 presidential election.
So for the slow people and trolls in the audience, what this makes inescapably clear is that this entire attempt to create the narrative that the Ukrainians were the ones who interfered in our 2016 election, and not Russia, is the work of the Kremlin that is now being promoted by the Trump Administration and Trump’s Republican defenders.
I think that may be the most important takeaway from today’s testimony.