The decision to hire Fiona Hill, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, for one of the government’s top jobs dealing with U.S.-Russia relations is likely to earn bipartisan praise in Congress where Republicans and Democrats have expressed mounting unease with the Trump administration’s apparent contacts with Russian officials during the presidential campaign. The House Intelligence Committee laid out parameters Wednesday for an investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible contacts with Russian officials.
Hill, a dual U.S.-UK citizen and former U.S. intelligence officer from 2006 to 2009, has written critically of Putin’s autocratic tendencies and desire of a “weakened U.S. presidency.”
“Blackmail and intimidation are part of his stock in trade,” she wrote in a column last summer explaining Putin’s interest in interfering in America’s presidential elections.
In her 2013 biography of Putin, she warned policymakers not to underestimate the Russian strongman given his strategic cunning and ability to find weaknesses in opponents derived from his experience in the KGB.