A former White House official involved in one of the most infamous moments of the Trump administration is speaking out about what went down behind the scenes.
Fiona Hill, who was the top Russia analyst on the National Security Council under President Donald Trump, called the 2018 joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki “mortifying” and “humiliating for the country.” That was the news conference where Trump sided with Putin, refused to blame Russia for Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election and called the United States “foolish.”
Speaking to CNN’s Don Lemon on Tuesday, Hill confirmed what she previously told the BBC: The press conference was going so poorly that she considered faking a medical emergency ― complete with a “blood-curdling scream” ― to force an end to the event.
“I did seriously think about it,” Hill told Lemon. But she also had another plan to end it.
“I, first of all, looked around to see if there was a fire alarm,” she said.
None were available.
“We were in a rather grand building attached to the presidential palace of the Finnish president, who had lent it to us for the occasion and I couldn’t see anything that resembled a fire alarm,” she said.
Hill compared the presser to another low point of the Trump presidency.
“I had exactly the same feeling that Deborah Birx had during the infamous press conference where there was the suggestion by President Trump about injecting bleach to counteract the coronavirus,” Hill said. “It was one of those moments where it was mortifying, frankly, and humiliating for the country.”
See more of her conversation with Lemon above.
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