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Top US diplomat considered faking medical emergency to disrupt Trump-Putin summit

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Russia's President Vladimir Putin. (Mikhail Metzel/Tass/Abaca Press/TNS)
February 11, 2021

A top diplomat said this week she considered creating a fake medical emergency to disrupt former President Donald Trump’s July 2018 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Fiona Hill, who served as Trump’s top Russia advisor after previously working in a variety of national security roles under Presidents Bush and Obama, told BBC News that Trump’s apparent agreement with Putin over U.S. intelligence regarding Russian election interference had her considering drastic measures to end the press conference.

“My initial thought was just ‘How can I end this?’ I literally did have in my mind the idea of faking some kind of medical emergency and throwing myself backwards with a loud blood-curdling scream into the media,” Hill said.

During the 2018 meeting in Helsinki, Trump had said the U.S. intelligence community and Russia wonder “why the FBI never took the [DNC] server. Why haven’t they taken the server? Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the Democratic National Committee? I’ve been wondering that,” as Business Insider reported.

“With that being said, all I can do is ask the question. My people came to me … They said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia,” Trump said. “I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

In August 2020, the Senate Intelligence Committee released the final volume of its bipartisan report about Russian efforts to infiltrate then-candidate Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, particularly by exploiting ties with largely unvetted campaign officials.

Committee chair Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) published the nearly 1,000-page report, which interviewed more than 200 sources and found “no collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia, but did raise concerns about how the FBI initially handled the investigation.

“Final volume of Senate Intelligence bipartisan & thorough investigation into Russian 2016 efforts is now public. We found no evidence of ‘collusion.’ But we did find troubling actions by the FBI, particularly their willingness to rely on ‘Steele Dossier,” Rubio tweeted.

“After more than three years of investigation by this Committee, we can now say with no doubt, there was no collusion,” the report concludes.

In March 2020, Trump’s campaign filed a defamation lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, targeting CNN and accusing the outlet of publishing “false and defamatory” statements that alleged Trump was seeking help from Russia to win the 2020 election.

According to court documents, the lawsuit alleges that CNN “published false and defamatory statements of and concerning the Campaign, claiming that it ‘assessed the potential risks and benefits of again seeking Russia’s help in 2020 and has decided to leave that option on the table.’”