President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin attend their bilateral meeting at the G20 Osaka Summit 2019, in Osaka, Japan on June 28, 2019.
Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images
- Fiona Hill told Insider she’s worried that someone more capable than Trump could “pull a Putin” in the US.
- “I’m very concerned about it,” Hill said, pointing to the GOP’s enabling of Trump’s election lies.
- The GOP appears “hellbent on undermining democracy,” Hill said.
Fiona Hill told Insider that it would be “disastrous” for US democracy if former President Donald Trump or another Republican pushing his lies about the 2020 election wins the presidency in 2024.
Hill is sounding the alarm about the potential for autocracy in the US.
In her 2021 memoir, “There Is Nothing for You Here: Finding Opportunity in the Twenty-First Century,” Hill wrote that Trump “may have paved the way for another, less personally insecure and more capable populist president — someone who actually did his or her homework and was skilled in project management — to pull a Putin in America.”
Hill, who served as the top Russia expert on the National Security Council under the Trump administration and later testified in the House impeachment inquiry into Trump’s Ukraine dealings, wrote that Putin “took the constitution’s presidential powers and ran with them” and “enhanced them to the point of extending his own term in office essentially indefinitely.”
When asked by Insider whether the current political climate in the US made her concerned that someone could “pull a Putin” in the US in the near future, possibly in 2024, Hill said, “I’m very concerned about it.”
Hill said Republicans continue to run for office “on the back of the lie” that Trump has pushed about the 2020 election. Prospective GOP presidential candidates for 2024 “have not refuted what he’s said and never recognized Biden as a legitimate president,” she added.
“Right now it has to be said that the Republican party, the congressional Republican party, so it seems, so it would appear, is hellbent on undermining democracy to exert minority rule,” Hill said.
The election falsehoods that Trump and his Republican allies have perpetuated have sown distrust in the electoral process in the US. This is a “recipe for communal violence” that could ultimately spiral into “civil conflict,” Hill warned.
“I don’t think we’d end up in the kind of conflict that we had between the states — the Union and the Confederacy — back in the day. But people’s sense of the civil and civic ways of resolving disputes are out the window,” Hill said, underscoring that the US is in “big trouble.”