Trump ex-Russia adviser Hill to tell U.S. lawmakers to stop promoting ‘falsehoods’

Politics


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s former Russia adviser Fiona Hill will warn lawmakers in the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry on Thursday against promoting falsehoods that minimize Russia’s attempts to interfere in U.S. elections.

FILE PHOTO: Fiona Hill, former senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council, arrives to review her previous testimony in the U.S. House of Representatives impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Trump led by the House Intelligence, House Foreign Affairs and House Oversight and Reform Committees on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 4, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

According to her prepared testimony, Hill said she has heard questions and statements from some members of the Democratic-led House Intelligence Committee that show they appear to believe Russia did not conduct a campaign against the United States during the 2016 presidential race.

“This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves,” Hill, who was until July the director for European and Russian Affairs at the White House National Security Council, will say.

Some Republican members of the committee have advanced a discredited conspiracy theory, embraced by Republican President Trump, that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the last presidential election.

“In the course of this investigation, I would ask that you please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests,” she will say.

Hill will warn intelligence committee members that Russia is gearing up to repeat its election interference activities in 2020.

“We are running out of time to stop them,” she will say.

Like a number of career government officials who have already testified, Hill prides herself as a nonpartisan foreign policy expert who has served Republican and Democratic presidents.

A naturalized U.S. citizen, Hill describes herself as an “American by choice,” tracing her poor family’s roots to the same area of England as George Washington.

Thursday’s public impeachment hearing marks the last scheduled day of marathon sessions by the House Intelligence Committee focused on whether Trump wrongfully pressured Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat bidding to face Trump in 2020.

In prior testimony, Hill recounted a July 10 meeting in Washington that she attended with senior Ukrainian and U.S. officials at which the investigation was discussed.

Reporting by Karen Freifeld and Jonathan Landay; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall



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