Fiona Hill told BBC News that she considered “faking” a medical emergency to derail then-President Donald Trump’s infamous July 2018 Helsinki meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
During a press conference at the summit, Trump appeared to side with Putin over the US intelligence community on the subject of Russian election interference.
Recounting the moment in comments to the BBC for a new TV series on Trump’s chaotic approach to global affairs, Hill said, “My initial thought was just ‘How can I end this?’ I literally did have in my mind the idea of faking some kind of medical emergency and throwing myself backwards with a loud blood-curdling scream into the media.”
Hill, who served as Trump’s top Russia advisor after serving in different national security roles under Presidents Bush and Obama, became a central figure in Trump’s first impeachment over his dealings with Ukraine. She offered bombshell testimony that offered a damning portrait of Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into launching investigations into then-presidential candidate Joe Biden and a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election.
More recently, Hill has also been critical of Trump’s provocation of a violent insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, which led to his second impeachment.
In a Politico op-ed, Hill said the Capitol attack amounted to an attempted “self-coup” from Trump.
“I’ve been studying authoritarian regimes for three decades, and I know the signs of a coup when I see them,” Hill wrote. “The storming of the Capitol building on January 6 was the culmination of a series of actions and events taken or instigated by Trump so he could retain the presidency that together amount to an attempt at a self-coup. This was not a one-off or brief episode.”
Trump’s impeachment trial over the Capitol attack began on Tuesday and is ongoing.