Fiona Hill kept a box under her desk while working in the Trump White House in case she had to leave

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Fiona Hill
Fiona Hill, a former White House advisor on Russia. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Fiona Hill on Tuesday said she never expected to work for the Trump administration for long and always kept a box under her White House desk in which she could pack her belongings in the event she had to leave.

"By the time I got in ... there were so many people that had already gone out the revolving door," Hill said during an event with the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. "I kept a box under my desk just to kind of put my stuff in in case I had to leave." To Hill's point, the Trump administration had an extraordinarily high turnover rate.

Hill, the top Russia expert in the White House under President Donald Trump from 2017 to 2019, became a key figure in Trump's first impeachment over his dealings with Ukraine. She offered bombshell testimony that painted a damning picture of a shadowy effort to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into launching investigations into Joe Biden and a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, had interfered in the 2016 election.

Unlike many other figures who worked in the White House under Trump - among the most controversial US presidents - Hill was not tainted by her association with the administration. During Tuesday's event, Hill was asked to explain how she maintained her integrity and to reflect on her time in the White House.

Russia's interference in the 2016 election was a matter of serious concern, she said, and a large part of why she was inspired to accept a position in the White House in the first place. "I wasn't going in there for a career purpose - it was more of a sense of duty and the importance of the issue," Hill said.

But Hill said she found it difficult to have an impact because of the influence of partisanship and personal agendas over policymaking, including in relation to national security; she described it as "deeply disturbing."

Read the original article on Business Insider