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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  November 3, 2021 12:30am-1:01am GMT

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welcome to hardtalk, i am stephen sackur. this challenge may public officials to make a choice. obey directives from the white house against their betterjudgment, ortake the white house against their betterjudgment, or take a better judgment, or take a stand betterjudgment, or take a stand and face the wrath of the pro—trump movement. my guest today, fiona hill, former adviser of the white house, took a stand. she was a key
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witness in the presidents first impeachment and has since had time to reflect on what donald trump meant for america and its geopolitical standing. has america learned the right lessons from the last five years? fiona hill, welcome to hardtalk. you've had quite a lot of time to reflect the last couple of years, reflect on some key decisions that you were involved in and let's start off with the basic one. do you now regret your decision
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to take up that opportunity to join the national security council inside the donald trump white house? i council inside the donald trump white house?— white house? i don't because the motivation _ white house? i don't because the motivation for _ white house? i don't because the motivation forjoining - white house? i don't because the motivation forjoining the| the motivation forjoining the administration back in 2017 when the russian intelligence services at the direction of the kremlin interfered in the presidential election that was the 2017, 2016 presidential election. as we all know, that created chaos and us politics and became a massive domestic prices and a certainly felt as someone who would serve before and the government, as national intelligence officerfor and the government, as national intelligence officer for russia backin intelligence officer for russia back in 2006 to 2009 under both the bush and obama administrations. but something had to be done and part of my motivation was to do something of the national security front desk concerned about what the russians had done and i would do it again, for sure.
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ultimately, your working for a boss who from the very get—go patently didn't believe or didn't want to believe that moscow was involved in that interference in the 2016 election which he regarded as so important and so dangerous. absolutely right, he did not want to believe it because that put a great big cloud of his legitimacy as president. directly, that was directly with the russians wanted to do. they wanted to interfere in the election so everyone would have doubts about the outcome and the russian security services thought this was revenge for what they perceived the united states have done and particularly hillary clinton which is secretary of state against vladimir putin's return to the presidency when there were mass demonstrations and in opposition to his presidency. i was well aware of all of that along with many other people and the thought was perhaps we could do something to persuade donald trump action needed to
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be taken. it donald trump action needed to be taken. , . , donald trump action needed to be taken. , ., , ., ., be taken. it is a bit odd that what we're _ be taken. it is a bit odd that what we're saying _ be taken. it is a bit odd that what we're saying is - be taken. it is a bit odd that what we're saying is you - be taken. it is a bit odd that i what we're saying is you made be taken. it is a bit odd that - what we're saying is you made a decision to take a job with a boss who you felt to be fundamentally wrong—headed and possibly dangerous. fundamentally wrong-headed and possibly dangerous.— possibly dangerous. look, when something _ possibly dangerous. look, when something happens _ possibly dangerous. look, when something happens like - possibly dangerous. look, when something happens like this, i l something happens like this, i thought about it like your houseis thought about it like your house is on fire and had to stand up and do something. i've been working on russia for decades. started studying in 1984. the whole the whole thing was during the cold war and is propaganda, pretty sophisticated influence in operation and i felt that if i did not stand up, who also try to do this. and there are a lot of other people who i knew and the government who were trying to do something to address this too. so i thought it was worth the effort no matter how it turned out later. i the effort no matter how it turned out later.— the effort no matter how it turned out later. i 'ust want to change h turned out later. i 'ust want to change tact _ turned out later. ijust want to change tact from - turned out later. ijust want| to change tact from women. i'm intrigued to see you in your
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home where we are interviewing you from you've put a copy of your recently published book and there's nothing for you here, it is called. and that message is something that i want to discuss with you because you took this very seniorjob in the us administration he became a naturalised us citizen and you began life in the northeast of england. you're child of a former minor, and it was pretty extraordinary tojust former minor, and it was pretty extraordinary to just short the trajectory you took from that childhood to getting a top job at the white house. ? miner. do you believe that kind of opportunity would not of being open to you if you stayed in the uk? it open to you if you stayed in the uk? ., , ., open to you if you stayed in the uk? ., ., the uk? it was all about timing. _ the uk? it was all about timing, right? _ the uk? it was all about timing, right? i- the uk? it was all about timing, right? i came i the uk? it was all about timing, right? i came to the uk? it was all about - timing, right? i came to the united states in 1989 and i left my home town to go to university in 1984 but there was a massive youth
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unemployment crisis in 90% of school leaders in that period did not have anything to go on to a nozzle of the lucky ones to a nozzle of the lucky ones to get a place in college. and i think if i had stayed in the uk, i wouldn't have entered this area. i probably would've gotten into a different track entirely. when i came to the united states in 1989 on a scholarship, the timing was really important in many aspects. it was under the berlin wall walls there. and by the time i've gotten a degree in 1991, the soviet union was history and ifind myself moving along the times and send breakthrough in us soviets and us russian relations at the time and i find us russian relations at the time and ifind myself us russian relations at the time and i find myself the thick of action that i don't think i would have had been beenin think i would have had been been in the uk. and when you get to the united states, knowing can distinguish, bbc
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accent like yours, steven and mine from the northeast of england, we are all the same over there. england, we are all the same overthere. it england, we are all the same over there. it is a british accent and i found that the class acts and bias that i had encountered in the uk all the way along had disappeared when i got to the united states. someone really cared where i was from but, no one cared but they're interested in what i was doing not where i was from. the limitations they put on people who come from the wrong side of the tracks if i can put it that way, do you think before we get back to the united states in your recent experiences, do you think the uk has overcome his preoccupation with class, with geography, with where you're from and how you speak because there's an interesting anecdote, including one about tony blair which suggests you think the uk still has a big problem. think the uk still has a big problem-— think the uk still has a big roblem. , ., , ., problem. the uk still has a lona problem. the uk still has a long way — problem. the uk still has a long way to _ problem. the uk still has a long way to go. _ problem. the uk still has a long way to go, and -
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problem. the uk still has a i long way to go, and reference to tony blair was one of the local and peace from the north of england, sent to the prime minister ship, of england, sent to the prime ministership, he of england, sent to the prime minister ship, he was an mp in the next constituent where i grew up, and the north and durham as well as edinburgh. tony blair was amazed when he met me in aspen colorado and said, how did you get here when we had a quick chat with the plane. and of course he meant how did they get here from the northeast of england through a comprehensive school with an accent like mine presenting at the speak festival that he was also out. that brought home to me how much the uk in terms of really acts in class and geography. the uk has made huge strides on gender, race diversification and politics and in the bbc and elsewhere. you do of course you're more northern accents in the bbc that you do here, but people still have a lot of letter
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complaints. i noticed, there are people with northern accents and with the comments were about their appearances on tv and radio and people complaining about their accidents still. and in politics, you certainly don't see a lot of people from the north that are distinguished, they can distinguish from the north but there accent and from the background. entertainment, the background. entertainment, the news, media and everything else absolutely. but i still feel the uk has a long way to go and the us does too, they're very similar geographic discrepancies in the united states as well.— discrepancies in the united states as well. and you do talk about that- _ states as well. and you do talk about that. but _ states as well. and you do talk about that. but let's _ states as well. and you do talk about that. but let's get - states as well. and you do talk about that. but let's get to - about that. but let's get to that later, the stock by your career in the trump white house. you said to me that there are some pretty fundamental problems with donald trump attitude even when you took the job in 2017. but things unfolded both of this reaction to allegations that russia had intervened massively
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or try to in the 2016 election, but also his reaction to certain events that occurred like, the poisoning of the russian spy. you can see where donald trump really seemed to try to avoid the reality of what vladimir pruden's russia was and you were there and you are trying to persuade him otherwise and failing and it's a question i put the public officials. how often did you contemplate getting out of their? resigning? i contemplate getting out of their? resigning?- contemplate getting out of their? resigning? i give myself a time limit— their? resigning? i give myself a time limit before i _ their? resigning? i give myself a time limit before i even went| a time limit before i even went and. based on all the things that you're outlining there, i knew this would be very difficult and i did hope with other officials and people mindful of what happened, this massive effort to do this, and
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also focus beyond all of the domestic political noise in the discovered that, even though there remaining other like—minded trying to push back against this. but it's exactly as you said, donald trump did not want to recognise the facts. part of that was his own fears of having to acknowledge that their presence been some questions about the outcome of the election. when you think about it, if vladimir putin had said to him in any of these meetings, but if i did interfere and yes, i did get elected. his mind would have been blown a little bit because donald trump some premise for his presidency that he won, he won big and found a fantastic campaign and talked about all the time, his own ego was so fragile that he couldn't accept that he had some sort of influence on his behalf. the other thing was he actually had
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vladimir putin and he, i got to see this first—hand, for him, vladimir putin epitomised what he saw himself as. and based on what he saw prudence standing for. someone was a powerful, strong and donald trump use those words about vladimir putin frequently. he didn't have many cheques and balances on his power and he also saw him as very rich and very famous running the country like his own business. and people would say that's a very unfortunate way of thinking about vladimir putin because this is not what we expect from an american president. but donald trump really saw him, notices competitor in the contents of the relations, but vladimir putin is the kind of leader he wanted to emulate and is on style and approach to governance in the united states. ., . ~' governance in the united states. ., ., ~ ., ., states. you walked away from our 'ob states. you walked away from yourjob for — states. you walked away from yourjob for various _
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states. you walked away from yourjob for various reasons i your job for various reasons but you faced a very tough choice to testify as part of the first impeachment process against donald trump. you knew donald trump had very powerful friends, had a very powerful movement. did you think very hard before choosing to go so public? hard before choosing to go so ublic? ., ., ~' hard before choosing to go so ublic? , ., i. public? look, before you went into the administration, - public? look, before you went into the administration, and i into the administration, and that was a tough decision as well. i did have to think about that, a lot of people are telling me not to do it and saying that it that he met they would not speak to me again if i did and they have not. irrespective of what i was prepared to do in terms of thinking about national security, there were a lot of people really worried about donald trump and ms of the damage that he was likely to do to the united states which we have actually seen. but having already made the decision when i was subpoenaed as a witness along with many other people, collects our work with closely, that there is no question i had to stand up. at already been targeted. all kinds of
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defamation on the internet, horrible phone calls, threats to me and my family all over the place, i was called all kinds of strange thing. i was a part of a conspiracy acquainted many of these trolls.— many of these trolls. sorry to interruot. _ many of these trolls. sorry to interrupt, but _ many of these trolls. sorry to interrupt, but do _ many of these trolls. sorry to interrupt, but do you - many of these trolls. sorry to interrupt, but do you think. many of these trolls. sorry to | interrupt, but do you think the fact that at the very beginning of this interview, you don't sound like most americans because you are born in the uk and your background was a little different and you are a european—american quote unquote. do you think that played into the demonization of you coming from the donald trump movement? i’m you coming from the donald trump movement?— you coming from the donald trump movement? i'm sure it did because i was _ trump movement? i'm sure it did because i was very _ trump movement? i'm sure it did because i was very hard _ trump movement? i'm sure it did because i was very hard to pin - because i was very hard to pin down. i don't have any real affiliations or member of a party. i got this accent which people to say it's british or something else. i've worked on russia, the soviet union for
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years, people thinking i could be a double, triple or quadruple agent and the amount of stuff that was added by me on the internet picture head spin. and people are trying to undermine your credibility and they're trying to put you over in boxes and try to get you on board and all these conspiracies in the whole point is just to conspiracies in the whole point isjust to get conspiracies in the whole point is just to get you out of the way. i understood that right away and having been studying russian the soviet union and conspiracy theories and propaganda that's come out there for the decade, i was already prepared. i knew it came with the territory. but of course, very unnerving to think of yourself as being exposed like that in front of literally millions of people in the whole world watching we have to step up world watching we have to step up to testify. so i did think about that. but i had already, about that. but i had already, a cross that threshold. there is no question that they step up is no question that they step up and do something. it is fair to sa in up and do something. it is fair to say in your _ up and do something. it is fair to say in your testimony - up and do something. it is fair to say in your testimony that l to say in your testimony that you're extremely level—headed and you did not indulge in
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hyperbole. it strikes me that since then, you have gone quite a long way towards hyperbole. you described for example, the donald trump movement and in particular we would have january six with the assault on the capital after the us election, you described that as a deadly serious attempt at achoo with clear and unmistakable parallels with russia. there, you are drawing direct parallels between donald trump and vladimir putin. are you now engaging in the same hyperbole of the german opponents were engaging in? i push back on that because the facts are very stark ? of the very opponents who are engaging in. watching the first impeachment, he went on to far more serious things. trying to
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engage with the leader of a foreign country and opening investigations into another fellow american politician, the main contender the next presidential election with the goal of undermining that other persons candidacy and that is really taking opposition campaigning to a different level. but since then, we saw president trump talk down the presidential election to the point where my colleagues in the department of homeland security who are supposed to be pushing back against the russians and others who might interfere had to speak out against president to reassure american elect teddy back elections in american voters and officials that the vote was safe and secure. so, president trump went out to try to undermine american democracy and i do feel that again, i have to speak out, especially
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as someone who has watched these interactions between donald trump and pruden knowing exactly the russians want to do and the sad fact is that a lot of the actions that president trump is taking or acting in parallel with the interests of the russian security services and it can be easily exploited. one quick example. after president biden met with president biden met with president putin in the first summit meeting, we had the two press conferences. and they were talking about human rights abuses in russia and he quickly deflected and said, look at what is happening in the united states and he touched on race and racial discord and black lives matter movement which is the staple of the soviet union times by talking about january six, 2021 when we had the mob storming the us capitol which i'm sure was a shock for people in the uk too ending of a
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similarthing in the uk too ending of a similar thing happening against the houses of parliament, and vladimir putin quickly called the mop political protesters. turning this around and jumping right into the kind of rhetoric and words that have been used by president trump and his followers. figs by president trump and his follows— by president trump and his followers. ~ , ., ., followers. as to the point that ou're followers. as to the point that you're making _ followers. as to the point that you're making but _ followers. as to the point that you're making but donald - followers. as to the point that i you're making but donald trump has not gone away. as of very strong policies going to try to run again in 2024 the political polarisation in americus certainly hasn't gone away and here is something that you said that this polarisation is ultimately a national security threat as well as a domestic challenge. in what way should we, all of us outside of the united states see as a national security threat to the united states? ~ ., ., , states? well, external actors interfering — states? well, external actors interfering and _ states? well, external actors interfering and exploiting - states? well, external actors interfering and exploiting it i interfering and exploiting it and using it for more propaganda and some were discord turning it right again
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against the united states. but it's really undermining our means of collective action. i'm speaking out and opened by match to get the attention, particularly to the people on capitol hill on how for them to go down on this path rather than infighting, stepping up to the plate and seeing ways we can unify ourselves again. we just had the g 20 meeting, and this really important climate summit in glasgow and everyone is looking to the united states to lead. our internal discord, our inability to actually pass legislation or even speak to each other in civil terms is undermining our capacity for taking action on major existential issues that affect everybody. existential issues that affect everybody-— everybody. before we end, because — everybody. before we end, because we _ everybody. before we end, because we do _ everybody. before we end, because we do not - everybody. before we end, because we do not have i everybody. before we end, i because we do not have much time, i want to tap into expertise as a close observer
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of geopolitics. biden administration is preoccupied with what they proceed as the long—term threat of china. they also, it seems, want to give a message to vladimir putin that we do not see conflict with you, we want to dialogue with you, we want to dialogue with you but we will not accept some of your more egregious actions. particularly when it comes to cyber hacking in the rat somewhere and all that stuff that the us is moscow's responsible for. do you think that twin track, preoccupation and focus on china, hoping to park russia, is that going to work? it park russia, is that going to work? ., , park russia, is that going to work? . , ., park russia, is that going to work? ., ., , work? it may not. partly because _ work? it may not. partly because the _ work? it may not. partly because the russians i work? it may not. partly| because the russians are work? it may not. partly - because the russians are also very much invested in their relationship with china and having a degree of conflict with us, unfortunately being the united states. because vladimir putin is very much focused on staying empower himself beyond 2024. they'll be a real banner yearfor himself beyond 2024. they'll be a real banner year for both the us and in russia and vladimir putin is using confrontation as
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a motivationalfactor. look, you need me around because i'm the person that's pushing back against the united states that's been out to get us an internationally showing china and everyone else that russia still has what it takes to be a major player on the international stage. you need a bit of friction and a bit of confrontation and you don't want to have it with china but you need to have it with the united states. i do think that russia is also interested in coming to terms with the united states on a number of issues once control is one and getting some sort of nuclear deal, they do realise that they've got problems the pandemic and russia has the highest infection rate and the highest mortality rate in the last couple of years with coronavirus because they've had problems getting their own people vaccinated and they do know that they have to do something on climate change eventually. so, there are a few openings with russia but has to be very difficult to park them. they don't like being ignored
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and there will always make sure that we have to pay attention to them. china as well as can be very difficult because we have to basically find some way of moving forward with china on the same issues, the pandemic getting global vaccinations, climate change. there's going to be limits to how much the united states can do in terms of sharing these relationships because we have to do some of the trade—offs and opportunity costs. the trade-offs and opportunity costs. , , , ., . costs. very briefly, how much of a problem _ costs. very briefly, how much of a problem is _ costs. very briefly, how much of a problem is it _ costs. very briefly, how much of a problem is it that - costs. very briefly, how much of a problem is it that the - of a problem is it that the world realise there's a distinct possibility that donald trump could be back in power in 2024 and 2025? that noes power in 2024 and 2025? that goes back _ power in 2024 and 2025? that goes back to _ power in 2024 and 2025? that goes back to your _ power in 2024 and 2025? that goes back to your whole - power in 2024 and 2025? t'isgt goes back to your whole point the national security risk because if people are looking at leadership for the united states and on a global scale, they know they won't get it of donald trump comes back again. that risk is also causing constraints forjoe biden becausejoe biden cannot because joe biden cannot guarantee becausejoe biden cannot guarantee either an outcome thatis guarantee either an outcome that is favourable for his part
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in the 2022 midterms or guarantee that he can get a reelection in 2024. again, i think that underscores that point that we are really and something of a crisis and we have to show the united states that we can get our act together and that we have some staying powerfor the together and that we have some staying power for the future together and that we have some staying powerfor the future in terms of our leadership and capacity for domestic action and international action. if you and internationalaction. if you a hill, i wish we had and internationalaction. if you a hill, iwish we had more you a hill, i wish we had more time but thank you very much forjoining us on hardtalk. hello there. it's staying pretty cold now
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for the rest of this week. there will be quite a bit of sunshine around by day, but it will be chilly at night with frosts and fog in places. now, through the day there will be quite a bit of sunshine in central and southern areas, but also some showers. this mainly affecting coastal areas. got low pressure to the north of the uk, this is where we are seeing the strongest of the winds today and whether fronts enhancing the shower activity. although mostly will be affecting coastal areas all around the country down into west wales and the southwest, northern parts of northern ireland and much of the eastern side of the country. some of the showers across the northeast, east of england will push into the midlands. so a bit cloudy here, more than we have had the last few days. some of the showers heavy with some hail and thunder mixed in, and they will be wintry over the high ground, particularly across northern scotland with the strongest of the winds. further south he winds will be lighter. further south the winds will be lighter. it's going to be a chilly day wherever you are,
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highs of six in the north, nine to 11 further south. through wednesday night it stays quite blustery in the north, further coastal showers and many central areas will turn dryer with lengthy clear skies again. winds will be later here. but stronger winds across the eastern side of england, more cloud. not quite as cold here as what will be further west, and across the north we will have some frost and also some patches of fog. now as we move towards thursday into friday we start to see a change to the weather. this area of high pressure begins to build in from the west. it kills off lots of the showers, but what it is also going to do is cut off the arctic air supply as our wind begins to fear more west and southwest direction. so that will bring milder air back to our shores as you can see here from the orange and yellow colours. thursday, then, another cold start with frost and fog around. and then it is bright. plenty of sunshine around, more sunshine around on thursday. still a few showers across the eastern coasts client again down into the far southwest. later in the day, thicker cloudy, patchy rain pushing
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into the northwest of the uk as we start to pick up westerly winds. temperature slowly rising here, otherwise for most again it is a chilly day. as we move out from thursday into friday we start to see an area of high pressure toppling down towards the south of the country, and that will allow this area of low pressure to move in across the north at the start of the weekend. so it will be turning milder towards the end of the week, particularly as we head on into the weekend. low pressure will start to bring wetter and windier weather to northern areas, and will tend to stay drier and brighter the further south and east you are.
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welcome to newsday, on pbs and around the globe, reporting live from singapore, i'm mariko oi. the headlines: leaders at the climate change summit in glasgow make progress in the race to limit global warming. the cop26 host, borisjohnson, says it's up to the remaining negotiators to deliver more change over the next two weeks. the eyes of the population of the world are on you and the eyes of the british government and all the other governments that care about these are all negotiators and we have your numbers. mark carney , the former governor of the bank
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of england, speaks to the bbc about the debt right—offs, international finance will have to make

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