Fiona Hill warns of “politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests”

I’m seriously overwhelmed at the moment, and I’ve decided to take the night off and watch an episode or two of Columbo. Before I punch out for the night, though, I wanted to share the following excerpt from the opening statement read this morning by Fiona Hill, the former senior director for Russia and Europe on the U.S. National Security Council. It’s one of the best things I’ve read in a long, long time.

Here’s some of the video:

And here’s an excerpt from the transcript.

It would seem as though Hill, who had been following the impeachment inquiry closely, was none too happy about the repeated suggestion on the part of some Republicans on the Intelligence Committee that perhaps it was the Ukrainians, and not the Russians, who had attacked our 2016 election. And it was a beautiful thing to see Hill, one of our nation’s foremost experts on Russia and Ukraine, use her moment in the spotlight to speak truth to power, exposing the Republican conspiracy theories for the pathetic, dangerous, intellectually dishonest mess that they are.

The Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, as you might expect, became indignant when Hill broached this subject, saying that they’ve never doubted for an instance that the Russians interfered in our 2016 election. The record, however, tells a different story — one of half-hearted acceptance of reality at best. While it’s true that House Republicans did begrudgingly issue a report acknowledging Russian active measures, they never fully accepted the finings of our national intelligence agencies. They never acknowledged, for instance, that these actions on the part of the Russians were taken to benefit the Trump campaign. And they never stopped suggesting that other countries could have done the same, if not worse. And, through it all, they continued to support and enable Donald Trump as he ranted about what he referred to as a “Russian hoax” and said publicly that he accepted the word of Vladimir Putin over that of U.S. national security professionals. And, as you may have heard during the impeachment inquiry, they’re still at it today, theorizing about anti-Trump “Ukrainian interference” during the 2016 campaign, which every U.S. intelligence official knows is absolute bullshit. And Hill wasn’t about to let it go.

And that’s what all of this is about. When Donald Trump told Ukrainian President Zelensky the he wanted an investigation into “Crowdstrike,” he was referring to a roundly debunked conspiracy theory which maintains that the Russians were framed by the Ukrainians and senior leadership of the Democratic National Committee. No legitimate national security expert believes this to be the case. No evidence exists to support this theory. And yet it persists, thanks in large part to people like Devin Nunes, who keep insinuating that there may be something to it… Well, apparently Hill had had enough.

“In the course of this investigation, I would ask that you please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests,” Hill said to members of the House Intelligence Committee. “I refuse to be part of an effort to legitimize an alternate narrative that the Ukrainian government is a U.S. adversary, and that Ukraine — not Russia —attacked us in 2016.”

True to form, the White House responded by saying that it’s not the Republicans who are playing into the hands of the Russians, but the Democrats, through their work to “delegitimize the President of the United States.”

I could go on — I’ve got more I’d like to say about how Hill handled herself today — but, as I said, Columbo is calling.

OK, I know I said I was calling in quits for the night, but here’s one more really important piece of video from today’s testimony. Check it out.

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  1. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 22, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    I really don’t believe Columbo is listening to very much of the testimony. Show me one Republican involved in the inquiry who has ever stated that Russia did not meddle in our elections. I can give you a dozens of times Schiff has stated that his Republican colleagues believe the Ukraine and NOT THE RUSSIANS meddled in our elections. It is not exactly true is it?

    Hill is a very intelligent person. Her testimony is appreciated. However, Columbo highlighted one of her weaker statements. I heard the statement addressed twice by the Republicans yesterday.

    A higher form of ideology is not just believing a falsehood it is falsely believing somebody else believes a falsehood.

  2. M
    Posted November 22, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Frosted Flakes,
    You do realize that people can simultaneously do two things, right? You realize that I could say, for instance, say “I’m not jaywalking,” while jay walking, or that OJ Simpson could point to donations he’d given to a women’s rights group with the same hand he used to sever his wife’s head, right? Well, we live in a time where the Republicans could both say, “yes, we think the Russians did some bad stuff, and so did the Ukrainians”, with one of those items being true, and one being false. And, while we’re at it, the President could thunder “no quid pro quo” while also saying that, yes, the Ukrainians had to announce an investigation. Things aren’t black and white. Please accept that. 

  3. Meanwhile in Israel
    Posted November 22, 2019 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Israeli PM Netanyahu: “The time has come to investigate the investigators.”

  4. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 22, 2019 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry M. Is that supposed to be a real comment from you? Are those supposed to be real questions?

    I repeat: Schiff has said many times said (perhaps dozens of times)that there are Republican colleagues, involved in the inquiry, who believe and or put forth the idea that it was Ukraine and not Russia who meddled with our elections. This idea was also put forth by Hill. It was parroted by Mark. Cool! Name some of them. Name one. I’m all ears. Then we can discuss OJ, bubble gum and walking if you want.

  5. Dan Pfeiffer by proxy
    Posted November 22, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    The President went on national TV this morning to announce himself to the world as a useful idiot in a Russian propaganda scheme.

  6. dogmatic dolt
    Posted November 22, 2019 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, we are truly down the rabbit hole. The elimination of short term memory is almost complete. Various Ukrainian Government officials helped dig up dirt for the Clinton campaign on Manafort. Others assisted the Clinton campaign in other ways===interference in the US election. “Kyiv Court: Lawmaker’s Release Of Manafort Documents Interfered In U.S. Election ”

  7. EOS
    Posted November 22, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Why was Fiona so upset by any reference to Soros’ involvement in the Ukraine? Scream “Anti-Semitism” and hope good people run for cover…. Call it a crazy conspiracy theory so that you don’t bother to examine the facts and evidence…

    The insiders, the deep state, the one-worlders, are all the same, and had an agenda that Clinton was going to bring to fruition. Point the finger at Russian involvement in other nation’s political systems when that is exactly what the US does…. And yes, I know many here hate Beck, but let’s avoid the ad hominum attacks while we examine the issues he brings up and has documented.

  8. Jean Henry
    Posted November 22, 2019 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    FF–“Schiff has said many times said (perhaps dozens of times)that there are Republican colleagues, involved in the inquiry, who believe and or put forth the idea that it was Ukraine and not Russia who meddled with our elections. This idea was also put forth by Hill. It was parroted by Mark. Cool! Name some of them. Name one.”

    Uh you.

    Are you suggesting that there is no conspiracy theory that the Ukraine and not Russia interfered in the 2016 elections and that they did so against Trump? How many times have you mentioned crowd strike?

    I’m honestly confused.

  9. Jean Henry
    Posted November 22, 2019 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

  10. John Brown
    Posted November 23, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Dima dolt, seems to me that revealing Manafort being entwined in pootins geopolitical manipulation while pootin is cyber attacking the USA is the patriotic thing to do. Are you propagating a false equivalency between outing Manaforts treason and agent orange trying to falsely create the impression of dirt on Bidens? He didn’t even want the investigation, just the announcement for media messaging. We all need to get on the same page on pootin people.

  11. Bob
    Posted November 23, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Guliani’s hentchmen clowns are diming hard at this point. Reports suggest they are implicating Nunes in the Ukraine scam. His mysterious trips abroad are maky more sense now.

    You can be as big a right-wing tool as you want to be but if you’re defending these corrupt scumbags at this point, you have zero credibility. The GOP is imploding to protect a guy they don’t even like.

  12. Posted November 23, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    From CNN:

    Exclusive: Giuliani associate willing to tell Congress Nunes met with ex-Ukrainian official to get dirt on Biden

  13. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 23, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Like Q said: “whistleblower trap”… “think mirror”

  14. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 23, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    I don’t assert that Russia did not meddle in our election, Jean.

    Has a single Republican involved in the inquiry asserted. “Ukraine and not Russia meddled in our election”? I ask because that is exactly what Schiff, Hill and Mark claim. Is it a false claim? If not offer a quote.

  15. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 23, 2019 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    They say it’s a conspiracy theory Ukraine helped Hilary.

  16. Jean Henry
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    HW– you know that mirrors display reality, except backwards, right?

  17. Jean Henry
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Tucker Carlson: “Why do I care what is going on in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia? I’m serious. Why shouldn’t I root for Russia? Which by the way I am.”

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