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tv   Fiona Hill There Is Nothing for You Here  CSPAN  November 10, 2021 11:49pm-12:50am EST

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>> known for her testimony to the house of representatives, the 2019 impeachment hearings fiona has more than 30 years of experience in foreign policy. the senior fellow at the center of the united states and europe and the foreign policy program at the brookings institution she'sok a former national secury council official and former officer of the national intelligence council. operatives in the kremlin and the siberian curse how the planners left russia out in the cold and has roots in
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extensively on issues with eastern asia. there's nothing for you here. as the daughter of a coalminer to three u.s. presidents. to examine the desperation impacting american politics it shows why expanding opportunity is the only long-term hope for our democracies. tonight she will be in conversation witht trudy, the worldview columnist with the philadelphia inquirer and trudy, fiona, it is an honor to have you join us. the screen is yours. >> it's a pleasure to be doing this and it couldn't be more timely because this book goes from the personal to the
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political and to the whole issue of populism and how we are all struggling to save democracy. and since you all know about the testimony and the impeachment, it is interesting to see the ex-president still can't let go of coming out of anyone who criticized him and has put together an outrageous statement after issuing the book but it does have a wonderful punchline.
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fiona hill. that speaks to the issue about the conspiracy theory in the deep state but it speaks to a northern ireland that defined the origins and class and is shd much of hergl life so it makes e want to ask. with a father that had been thrown out of work byd the closing. >> my experience with the testimony two years ago was when
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it began taking witness testimony to the first impeachment trial. with the credibility and that whole line about the deep state from some privileged elite that they wanted to clean up when it came into washington, d.c. to suggest some nefarious grouping and we are sort of born into the
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statuses deep in the state. proposing to be the president of the people to the blue-collar workers and shipyards but that was me, that was my family. my relatives moved over to work in coal mines and it made me stop and pause and when i put together my opening statement for the public hearings i decided to lay it all out in the
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beginning for a member of the strange deep state and i come from people that president trump is proposing to represent so out of that testimony and by laying it out in the very beginning, i have hundreds and hundreds of letters and they are all overwhelmingly positive. people have taken the time to write to me and ask me from all around the country basically saying the story of a designated with them with my father and grandfather and how it resonated with them as americans and said you should write more about this. so that is how i started this an
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analysis of where we had gone to in terms of the populism and the polarization that this has brought us with the events of january 6th and the storming of the capital. i wanted to kind of explain how got there because it had a designated so much with people. certainly a vast majority of the population of pennsylvania. >> what is interesting in your book is how you compare the origins of populism in the united states and britain and russia where you spent a lot of time and build your career on studying and you show the differences of the similarities.
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so in britain, the factors that seem to hold people back in the areas that have become industrialized with more location class and recognizing that it isn't of cambridge, it is northern england. so tell us a little bit about what it was like growing up in a town what that meant for someone like yourself that had aspirations how could you get out of that situation? >> first of all, the education
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system was key in both sides of this equation in terms of downward and upward mobility. i came to the u.s. in my 20s but there was an expectation. we had lots ofok manufacturing d the education system is very similar to some of the things we are learning in the curriculum. so if you were going for skills training forin an apprenticeship for the engineering and stuff like this, the university was
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for a small sliver of the population. five or 6% in the united kingdom went on to college, but for me at the time that i was born in the 1960s and by the 1970s and 80s that opportunity had been opened up because the local states for people from the lower socioeconomic backgrounds he had limited means like the g.i. bill. so they didn't have a lot of expectationsot and to give peope opportunities to haveve a paid r
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education. so i was oneor of the few that t to go to the university, the five or 6% so i didn't have to hesitateai or think about. i had that opportunity to go to the university. and to some of them they were kind of opening up the educational requirements but other universities are making it easier for those like myself to start to apply and hope to get an entry. particularly whether slope expectations with that possibility to take advantage of because i couldn't possibly if there hadn't been some way to pay for it and there was no way
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that i could even contemplate taking out a loan. >> you talk about your application and basically that stuck with me because with the cost of education including community college, the elite university seems to be ever further away from the pocketbook of the middle class and getting to the point where people that used to be able to go to the universities out of their league when they try.
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people like me for example still but people don't even know about it because when you are in a school that is under resourced and it's lost it's textbased because the industry has closed down you may be don't have college courses and discouraging you from going to the university and applying for grants to go get a job somewhere. you don't even know the opportunities are there. and this is a whole story. somebody from my background could go to oxford and a couple of kids in my class to apply but at that time in the uk in the 1980s to s prepare for the exam.
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you take the exam and you have no idea what it means. it's a living nightmare. i'm at a school that doesn't prepare you for that kind of academic experiment and experience. so i failed the. nobody explains to you what to
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expect under these circumstances. for people from the working class background, you don't have the cultural awareness and training experience and connections to know what you need to do in these cases. so it was kind of want the humiliation after another. when i got to the interview, the professor discussed it wouldn't be for me. it's at the top of my list in scotland and i had a fantastic opportunity there. i really did. even though it was an elite university to tryry to help peoe get over the hurdles and the
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faculty to make people feel welcomed and help them t navigae things. >> even if people get into a university, they don't have the cultural background to navigate in the way that you've struggled to do. for northern england and the situation ultimately produced voters for president and you mentioned the carbon country. what did you see that made you
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see this is northwest england. pennsylvania and the lehigh valley. there were lots from northern england. one of the little vignettes in the book that of course really shifted in the 1960s when my dad's coal mine closed down. mine is in pennsylvania in carbon county from the uk and my dad wanted to go. he is living with them and found they couldn't so he didn't go. although the irony is ten years
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more or less it would have closed as well. when i went to carbon county, a friend of mine where she was from basically right next and recommended staying there for the weekend and talking the whole time about the parallels. from all over the world including from my area it was
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tied to the community. it's all in the back like mining in the railways and the soviet industries. and so the whole history of mining but the rise of prosperity was in the same timeframe and one that was number nine is one of the ones recruited when my dad was considering coming over to pennsylvania so i was struck then as i started thinking about writing the book how similar these experiences were and then i get to russia and to see the
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similarities but on a bigger scale. the deindustrialization was instantaneous. all of the big factories and enterprises started to close down and they were going on strike it wasn't going to come back in the same way. that is the period when we were covering the developments to bring the industry and what i call in the book the opportunity to adapt to a new technological situation that's the whole
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economy that's left everyone behind and people are in the same towns and cities. it was the only prospect where people flooded out of these to gopl to moscow. it's very difficult to move in any case and to go somewhere else especially with the qualifications and -- >> what struck me was how you compare these areas in russia, britain and the u.s. looking at how this affection of people in these areas to support for the populist leaders. now your hometown was part of
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what was called the redwall and always voted labor because of mining and union and to suddenly the redwall broke and yorktown voted, correct and for boris johnson and dispensed a conservative parliament for the first time in i don't know, maybe ever. a. >> of the similarity was very pronounced. >> people think that they've been let down. in the case of my hometown, similar decades with new jobs to
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come back. it's crumbling away because there's nothing there and then that does feed into the feet ine frustration of the politics and so much research is being done right now about the disparity in the united states and the white working-class men and women with a sense of well-being and who have succumbed to death from cancer and all kinds of other morbidities and substance abuse. then the 1990s in russia the secrecy is different in each place and the phenomena with a
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very different history that deindustrialization is very similar. a. >> you discussed this in the book but i would like to talk to it. knowing trump was part of this phenomenon why did you decide to work for him? >> because it was about russia itself. i can't say that i was completely concentrated on when he was first elected. ii knew the sources and why they found him popular. at the same thing happened with england and i had seen members because they wanted to bring
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back control and they saw us pay no attention to them and they were disaffected in the labour party because the labour party had let them down so it was obvious but the motivations were when i agreed to go in with the russian influence operation. i'm fixated on the russian intelligence services and trying to figure out how we were going to deal with of the services to carry out these activities and i see very clearly what they were
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up to. i wanted to do something about it to push back against what they've done to make sure they couldn't do it againo and i was imagining i would be working behind the scenes with other public service. that was something i could do again. it's happening in our domestic politics and i knew more about the kremlin politics and white house politics. with the skills it was described
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as russia as a kremlin. >> what did this quickly revealed toea you about presidet trump's interest or disinterest and expert advice on a subject like russia? >> this is a silly story that i'm sure all the people can relate to. my daughter got food poisoning the night before i started.
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i thought it was going to be my first orientation session at the white house. i realized i'd left my dress shoes behind. when a somebody came and plucked me out and i had missed it completely. i hadn't checked the news or
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anything. for the condolence call for somethingol to say. the advisors office, it didn't fit because my feet were too big. so i told the president two things first of all this is a first attack it's going to be very personal for him, the terrorist attacks are a big deal. nothing terrible has happened.
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then i knew quite quickly she just walks in unannounced. running the show with an extension of what he'd done in the past and on many occasions they would be in meetings and would ask. theree was a dress code.
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>> the term in the west wing was set by fox news. but i immediately felt out of place not just running around in my sneakers but i did feel compelled just so i wouldn't stand out. it's like being back at middle school or high school to where they expect everyone to look. the way you have your clothes, the way you look, the way people judge you and interact you. the realization of if i didn't
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look the part. you write a lot about the disinterest and expertise including a serious briefing about the motivation and you've written a whole book and sat next to him at a major conference in moscow. he was never interested in that.
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>> i had been going there on a regular basis since 87 and new some of them i studied within the university. i've been basically going back 30 plus years but that was irrelevant because i wasn't the ceo of a major company or a billionaire. as many of us have learned by watching very closely it was very much swayed by who he thought the group was with the news anchor and getting his attention. he didn't see the pointea of it
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but believed more than anything else he said repeatedly i don't need to hear from them. he did listen to the intel brief when the cia director would listen to them and he preferred to get his information from fox news or a personal friend or from another strongman leader that he really admired and so you name it, the prominent leader or major industrial private enterprise billionaire figure would listen more to them
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than anyone else. not the members of the cabinet. once you start to work, for him you start to disregard entirely. >> what did trump want from putin, and did you ever believe that putin had something on trump or was he a master manipulator? >> very sadly, the issue realizing that circumstances people would ignore criticism. they wouldn't feel like they need to rise to debate about it and i talk in the book about how president trump had enough to make sure that people kept track of nasty things they said about him so he could get his revenge
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at some point and if they were a foreign leader they would meet with a a key person but then hes susceptible and what he wanted to hear from the world leaders is where they going to be nice to him. it's are you going to be able to deal and work with the level of the president of the united states. but they always wanted to know does someone like him respect him with the exchange of love letters he was upset when he was seeing the reflection these are people he b wanted to be
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recognized as the strongman intd the superrich into superpowerful. he says this openly and repeatedly. what he had was this knowledge that he could be manipulated and a classic example i wrote in the book and i'm trying to put this in the context that you get out of these circumstances was that putin praised trump for thehe performance of the economy and stock market. it was picked up on fox news and of the press and immediately trump wanted to call putin because at this point he wanted to show he had a basically treated him as an equal for different reasons. even though of course they were
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all over and thought that he was thee moscow candidate being manipulated in a different way on the surface level and knowing how to push his buttons to get what he wanted. it was a counterintelligence risk. if it can be that easily manipulated, we are in enormouse trouble. i'm going to turn to some questions now. it's been argued that the extension of nato into eastern
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europe worsened the russian relations with the west especially since it isor more regional. how do you see this, and obviously this is one of the scabs that putin continually picked at. when i was starting out i didn't think it was advisable. during my work as a research assistant i was in the position to speak out against that. but some of the more prominent people i work with very closely like the famous u.s. diplomat
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but wrong the telegraph didn't think that it was a great idea but he heldac the job and also didn't thinkre expanding nato ws particularly advisable so that was how it played out. for the framework that you've covered there were many russian liberal politicians at the
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forefront of trying to expand on the russian democracy and democratization but this would just kind of close the door for the further expansion and the space that we have to operate on because even for them it seemed like an action showing it was targeted against russia and its allies supporting serbia and they are committing a genocide against but it was all looked at in that context and it was obvious any further expansion of nato in the 2,000's and after that incident of the development would be looked at in a very
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harsh and negative way. so that expansion for people like putin. a. >> ..
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>> but also rex to listen was there along with the major part of the social media and this is not particularly useful. and then it was written down as a prompt for the translator so what is next in the sentence? the translator told me and another colleague from the conversation and then secretary to listen gave me from his own handwritten notes
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and he is the ceo of exxon mobil so he is very good recall he is a professional person and met with vladimir putin on numerous occasions. so he was well aware of the compensation and he actually gave a press conference that relayed pretty much everything that was said but was more problematic was the way that trump interacting with people as you know with the conversation that he had with them was the same conversation he might have on twitter for example the same kind of style that he might have with the guy on the street. but it's a way that he had interactions that but he made that the president of the country of russia. that was the problem.
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in the way with these conversations. >> and with the press conference in helsinki? >> and then has to be translated so what was taken by the translation which was after the long diatribe to tina what he is talking about , he also speaks english he is learning english to understand exactly what president trump the same and speaking in a long large sentences. and then to be speaking back again.
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but that meeting in helsinki from putin trying to have several fast ones. there was a press conference at was a real disaster because president d trump because pidgeon was his period. then you never did because that you are not legitimate but these are the people of the united states of course he wouldn't say anything and he didn't want to disprove him because his idea is having a bonding session that he wants to be praised in front of putin but that's not what happened and then he last the
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plots and lost the thread and then tries to avoidid the question to get it back with conspiracy theories then basically giving putin the benefit of the doubt. it's entirely predictable. so with president biden in geneva he did not have a joint press conference. >> the question with the average american be for optimism and i word like to tie that in with a couple of major points that you make in the book. but then so if you are talking
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about the future, so tell us about what you saw with the path the white house. and what we might project and to be elected again. >> i will start with that point because president trump repeatedly said he would love to basically have a situation with no checks and balances so people to stay in power indefinitely and basically the opportunity to do as he likes
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essentially running america like his own private business. >> he said in public. i heard him. is no different in private and he is in public that is how we should be concerned because it is not a joke. people say it in a joking fashion that he would do that to test to see how people pushsp back but then those leaders that were not demagogues recognize that as well. so the american body politic us and calling them out on —- another way that they should. he has no ideology. he takes the republican party and then until people understand that and realize what happened he was
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legitimately elected he managed to talk to people directlyll again. we are on a path they would not have foreseen hundreds of years ago.
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they did not seeing it playing out in this way or one person she could capture a party and refreshment in their image. it's to an acquisition of the united states and turn it into an extension of trump enterprises. we are all seeing this. so let's get out and tell the truth they did not win the election 2020 there's a great risk he will come back and ruin 2024. in fact he says he is the rightful president still. that he ought to be in office. he's basically asking people to recount votes all over the place. it doesn't matter they've not found the evidence that supports his proposition here. he's going to turn the whole country into knots to get back into power. one he gets into parise made it clear and maybe he wants to have a member of his family to
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succeed him. we are seeing this all over the world. we never thought we'd see it in america. the philippines we heard are going to step down. and who does he want for the next president? his daughter. in russia vladimir putin son has appeared in the very rich and wealthy obscurity in the background. the pandora papers with lovely apartments not saying he's going to create an a dynasty. it's ironic. but in the night since we talk about dynasties again? the only way to change this again it's not politics it's about all of us here. to get out and tell the truth about what is happening. this is not america first.
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this is a one man first. it's deeply disturbing. this is not just a populism. this is to talk or see. this is not where we started we had the congress of the states in philadelphia. is this what we are going to do to this country? anyway and am very passionate about it it's not just for opportunity because of what america stood for. it stood for the truth, it stood for hope. >> and your book, you write a lot about what you think needs to be >> and what needs to be done to address the needs of the people who have turned to populist and demagogues because of cultural and economic with that economic
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situation or changes in demography. i am curious. do you think that those changes could head off the continued rise of populism in this country and britain? or to russia? it is a different situation. what are some of the key areas you think must be addressed? do you think the biden administration is headed in that direction? >> i do think the infrastructure bill has all of the elements because it looks like it will be impossible to
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pass. with that public policy idea that everybody could come up with a big list but it's very hard work the politics are not but the capacity for action and that is a real route because we all have to take some personal responsibility is for first-generation to be in a negative way in a long way to fix things and that's why populism is so attractive to the things that are very complex and difficult it will be very hard so we really need to try to show to people that grassroots that are local that it just happens in philadelphia enemy people saw
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this but there is a big opening at the arlen specter center and i got invited to lunch because i had been very interested in the work going on in to get in touch with them in this was people living with inspirational leadership to bring in kids from elementary and their families and putting them all the programs and then to mentor them after the activities and then to take the whole idea national with the social economic and immigrant backgrounds from a place in portland maine —- portland maine where with the economy
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and it is just a real effort to show that you can do something and there is a lot of political applications as well because it gives people hope and all of these kids a sense of pride and then they take it national and trying to do things in philadelphia as well. why it provides knowledge and opportunity when i was a kid at my local library they would give advice on things you could tell you talk about politics but it was books i cannot otherwise find the professional people in these are the kinds of things that we could do. in the absence of them the top we should gethe our act together and show them of what can be donee in those types of projects and then you go to a library it is free to the
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public. >> that is a perfect note on which to and i will do the live discussion that's also on the book on friday november 19:11 a.m. they give very much thank you to the audience i look forward to talking to you more. >> thank you for joining tonight
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