Fiona Hill, former Russia advisor to Trump and a staunch critic, dismisses the idea that Putin has compromising material on him

Fiona Hill, former Russia advisor to Trump and a staunch critic, dismisses the idea that Putin has compromising material on him
Fiona Hill
Fiona Hill. Loren Elliot/Reuters
  • Fiona Hill, Trump's former Russia advisor, said Putin probably has no compromising material on Trump.

  • Allegations that Putin had damning information about Trump dogged him during his presidency.

  • Hill told the Daily Beast that Putin had instead worked out Trump was very susceptible to flattery.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Fiona Hill, a former Russia advisor to former President Donald Trump, dismissed the idea that Russian President Vladimir Putin ever held damning material on Trump.

Allegations persisted throughout Trump's presidency that Putin had somehow acquired incriminating evidence on him which compelled the president to be excessively deferential to his Russian counterpart.

But Hill, who advised Trump on Russia between 2017 and 2019, told the Daily Beast in an interview published Monday said that she doubted Putin had any damning material about the president.

Allegations of Russian "kompromat" - or compromising material - first surfaced in a leaked dossier prepared by former UK intelligence officer Christopher Steele, the contents of which have been disputed.

Hill said that she thought Putin did manipulate Trump, but did so by playing on character traits that were obvious to anybody.

She told the Daily Beast that Putin, like other world leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron, figured out early on how easily Trump was flattered.

As proof, she mentioned a time Trump had wanted to call Putin personally after learning he had been nice about him on TV.

Trump repeatedly praised Putin during his time in office, saying he had "strong control over his country."

"From Putin's view, what's not to like? What Putin had on Trump is what everybody else had - recognition of his extreme vulnerability to manipulation," Hill told the Daily Beast.

Trump had asked Hill before a meeting with Putin in Helsinki in 2018 if she thought Putin would like him, she said, but changed the topic of conversation before she had a chance to reply.

She also told the Daily Beast that Trump had been "a counter-intelligence and national security risk because he was so vulnerable to manipulation based on the fragility of his ego."

Hill has vocally criticized Trump since leaving the White House, particularly for his involvement with the Capitol riot in January. She wrote in a piece for Politico that Trump's actions were tantamount to a coup attempt.

She was speaking ahead of the publication of a book that describes her time in the White House, in which she describes Trump's presidency as a "mistake" and said it was bad for democracy.

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