Putin got frustrated with Trump, says ex-aide

Putin got frustrated with Trump, says ex-aide

When Trump was the US president, Vladimir Putin had to explain things to him, said Fiona Hill, former White House aide.

Hill told the Chicago Council on Global Affairs that Putin doesn't like doing that.

He got frustrated with President Trump a number of times. He wants to have predictability in the person he is engaging with, even though he loves to be able to spin his own version of events. Under Trump, Hill was senior director for European and Russian affairs on the national security council. She is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

The British-born adviser came to prominence when she testified in Trump's first impeachment for withholding military aid to Ukraine in an attempt to extract political dirt on opponents including Joe Biden.

In February, Putin ordered the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Biden has pledged to support Ukraine.

The Trump administration was dogged by investigations of Russian election interference and links between Trump and Moscow.

Trump was seen to be too close to Putin. The two leaders met for translators at a Helsinki summit in July 2018 and Trump said he believed Putin over his own intelligence services regarding election interference.

Hill was co-author of a well-received book on Putin. Last year promoting a memoir, There Is Nothing For You Here, she told the BBC that she considered faking a medical emergency in Helsinki to interrupt Trump's remarks.

My initial thought was: How do I end this? She said something.

Trump has attacked Hill publicly, calling her a deep state stiff with a nice accent in April, after Hill compared him to Putin, Trump told the New York Times: "She doesn't know the first thing she's talking about." If she didn't have the accent, she would be nothing. In 2020, Hill told The Guardian that Trump wants to sit down with the guy, whoever it is, and create personal chemistry and then everyone else works out the details. He wanted to be able to talk to people, like Xi Jinping of China or Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.

Putin doesn't operate like that. Putin takes translators with him for every occasion. Russians are incredibly organized. They take advantage of every opportunity, every vulnerability, every open door they can walk through.