In the aftermath of Trump's disastrous reign, it was tempting to breathe a sigh of relief. But that would have been premature, because there was no indication that his dynasty would fade away. — Fiona Hill, Trump's top Russia advisor on the National Security Council (NSC)
In the aftermath of Trump's disastrous reign, it was tempting to breathe a sigh of relief. But that would have been premature, because there was no indication that his dynasty would fade away. — Fiona Hill, Trump's top Russia advisor on the National Security Council (NSC)
Fiona Hill says Trump 'paved the way' for someone more capable and less 'insecure' than him to 'pull a Putin in America'
  • Fiona Hill in her new book warned about the long-term effects of Trump's assault on US democracy.
  • Trump may have paved the way for a more capable, less "insecure" populist to make the US more like Putin's Russia, she said.
  • Trump had a strong case of "autocrat envy," Hill wrote.
Fiona Hill in her new memoir wrote that former President Donald Trump may have set the stage for a more savvy populist leader to dismantle American democracy and make the country like Russia under Vladimir Putin.

"President Trump's interpretation of executive power and his attempt to usurp the president 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 wrote in the book, "There Is Nothing for You Here: Finding Opportunity in the Twenty-First Century."

... Trump staged a failed "self-coup," Hill said. He wanted to stay in power — and engaged in an unprecedented effort to overturn the results of a free, fair election — but ultimately wasn't able to "pull a Putin."

Trump had a controversial dynamic with Putin during his tenure. He went out of his way to avoid criticizing the Russian leader despite the fact relations between Moscow and Washington have hit a historic low in recent years.

Hill, who also wrote a biography on Putin, said that many of Trump's actions and behaviors mirrored those of the Russian leader. Trump had a strong case of "autocrat envy," she said.

"Putin set a personalized, bravura style of leadership that others, including Donald Trump, sought to emulate," Hill said, pointing to examples such as Putin in the late 1990s rising to power on a pledge to make Russia a "great power again." Trump adopted identical messaging in 2016.

But Hill said the "most unmistakable" parallel with Russia under Trump was his "disorganized but deadly serious attempt at a coup" over the course of 2020. Trump began undermining the integrity of the 2020 election early on, baselessly suggesting that if he lost it would mean the contest was "rigged." After he was defeated, Trump falsely said the election was "stolen" from him. His lies about the election provoked a fatal insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, when lawmakers met to certify Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.

"Authoritarian leaders like Putin always prefer to use someone else to do their bidding to promote their interests in a softer, subtler way, if they can," she continued. "It was telling, for instance, that Trump used Republican senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, along with other GOP members of Congress, to contest the Electoral College count on January 6."

Hill warned that though Trump failed in his effort to overturn the election results, he still "successfully usurped the Republican party."

"In the aftermath of Trump's disastrous reign, it was tempting to breathe a sigh of relief. But that would have been premature, because there was no indication that his dynasty would fade away," Hill said.


The antidote to Trump's corrosive brand of populist politics is to invest in people at the local level, Hill contended toward the end of her book.

When people encounter "concrete, personally measurable examples of positive change within their own immediate physical communities" it makes them "more discerning and hopeful," Hill wrote. "And they become less susceptible to manipulation by people who profess to have their best interests at heart but in truth are only out for themselves."
Read the full article: https://www.businessinsider.com/hill-trump-paved-way-for-someone-to-pull-putin-us-2021-10