Trump Would Have Been Furious if Putin Admitted to Meddling in Election

Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

At a conference in Washington, D.C., Fiona Hill, a former White House adviser on Russia during Donald Trump’s presidency, shared insights into Trump’s perception of his 2016 election victory. According to Hill, Trump believes that his win was solely his achievement, a belief that Russian President Vladimir Putin could easily undermine. Hill suggested that if Putin were to claim credit for Trump’s victory, it would significantly embarrass the former U.S. president.

Speaking at the Principles First Summit, Hill highlighted Trump’s admiration for Putin and indicated that Putin’s acknowledgment of influencing the election could deeply humiliate Trump. Hill’s observations shed light on the dynamics between Trump, Putin, and other global leaders, underscoring Putin’s tendency to exploit vulnerabilities to his advantage.

As the Guardian is reporting, During her talk, Hill reflected on the infamous Helsinki meeting where Trump and Putin had a private conversation. She explained Putin’s strategic approach to interactions with world leaders, including his efforts to dominate and manipulate discussions. Hill pointed out that Trump’s respect for Putin made him particularly sensitive to any form of humiliation from the Russian leader.

Hill also touched upon a moment during a press conference where Trump was questioned about Russian interference in the 2016 election. She noted Trump’s eagerness to dismiss any suggestions of foreign interference, aiming to reinforce the narrative that his victory was untainted by external influences.

Hill said:

‘Putin always looked to put one over Trump and, actually, every leader he ever meets. Even Xi Jinping of China. Putin thinks about what people’s vulnerabilities are, and how he can then try to manipulate the conversation to go in his direction.’

‘The issue was really the press conference itself. We knew that it was going to be difficult. I’d actually recommended against a press conference. My word didn’t have much coinage in that environment but one of the reasons was because Trump admires Putin so much, he never wants to be humiliated. And it was all about a personal sense of humiliation.’

‘The instance in which he was asked the question about whether he felt that the Russians interfered in the election, he wanted to push back very quickly against it. He wanted to diminish any kind of idea of that because if … he wanted to get the message across that nobody had interfered on his behalf.’

Hill’s comments at the conference offer a revealing glimpse into the complex relationships and personal dynamics that influenced international diplomacy and domestic politics during Trump’s tenure. Her insights contribute to the broader understanding of how personal perceptions and rivalries among world leaders can impact global political landscapes.

She noted Trump refuses “to believe that Russia tried to tip the scales to his benefit. And if Putin had said to him at some point, ‘No, Donald, I did try to interfere in the election,’ I think he would have lost his mind completely.” “Because what would he have done about that? He’s trying to push back against this and the conclusion of course is that no, Russia didn’t do that at all,” she added.

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