Vladimir Putin has had Donald Trump’s “number for some time … knows how to manipulate him” and still sees him “as an asset”, the former White House Russia expert Fiona Hill said, discussing the Russian leader and the Republican presidential frontrunner.
“That’s literally [Putin’s] trump card,” Hill told the One Decision Podcast, hosted by Jane Ferguson, a reporter, and Sir Richard Dearlove, a former head of MI6, when asked if she thought the Russian president, bogged down in war in Ukraine, was betting on Trump beating Joe Biden next year and returning to power.
Hill added: “The anticipation that Trump’s going to come back is something for Putin of a boon … he can play with that. He can use it as kind of a warning … scare the Ukrainians, the Europeans, the rest of the world. Putin is pretty confident, given his experiences with Trump in the past, that Trump will be quick to try to resolve the … war in Ukraine in his favor.
“And, you know, obviously, Putin has had Trump’s number for some time, he knows how to manipulate him … he has been very good at the art of flattery with Trump. He sees Trump as an asset in many respects.”
From 2017 to 2019 Hill was a senior national security aide in the Trump White House, eventually coming under the spotlight as a witness in Trump’s first impeachment, for seeking to blackmail Ukraine for dirt on political rivals. In 2013, she published Mr Putin: Operative in the Kremlin, a widely praised study. [Continue reading…]