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16 Dec, 2020 09:52

Don’t ignore Russia! 'Star' of Trump impeachment hearings Fiona Hill warns Biden about repeating Obama’s mistakes

Don’t ignore Russia! 'Star' of Trump impeachment hearings Fiona Hill warns Biden about repeating Obama’s mistakes

Fiona Hill, once US President Donald Trump’s most prominent Russia adviser, has warned Joe Biden not to underestimate the country when he steps up to the top job in January.

Speaking to the New York Times in an article published on Tuesday, Hill claimed that former president Barack “Obama was very dismissive toward the Russians, calling them a regional power; [his administration] didn’t want to think about Russia too much.”

“But,” she added, “the world has changed completely. Biden can’t do Obama 2.0. They are going to have to think differently.”

READ MORE: Putin congratulates Biden on presidential victory, expects respect-based cooperation to serve US, Russian & wider global interests

While acknowledging Moscow’s growing importance in geopolitics, she was characteristically negative about the role it plays, arguing “Russia has moved from a classical, conventional nuclear power to an insidious hybrid threat.”

Hill worked for Trump as deputy assistant to the president and senior director for Europe and Russia on the country’s National Security Council from 2017 to 2019. She became a household name after her explosive appearance before Congress as part of the impeachment hearings held against her former boss.

Along with former national security adviser John Bolton, Hill was the most hawkish of Trump’s foreign policy gurus, often erring on the side of confrontation with America’s Cold War-era foes. Testifying before Congress, she claimed “President [Vladimir] 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.”

She had also previously cast doubt on the process behind Trump’s re-election bid, arguing “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.”

Trump’s approach to Russia has generally been more lukewarm, and major policy differences opened up between the more hawkish hardliners, like Hill and Bolton, and the Oval office. After dismissing Bolton in 2019, Trump called the veteran security chief an “idiot,” adding, “all he wanted to do was drop bombs on everybody. You don't have to drop bombs on everybody. You don't have to kill people.”

Putin congratulated Biden on his win in the contentious US election after the former vice president was confirmed by the Electoral College as the country’s next president. While relations between the Kremlin and the White House were frosty during the Obama-Biden era, according to his spokesman, Putin “expressed confidence that Russia and the United States, which have a special responsibility for global security and stability, could, despite their differences, really help to solve the many problems and challenges facing the world.”

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