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tv   Fiona Hill There Is Nothing for You Here  CSPAN  November 7, 2021 2:45am-3:46am EST

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passed using the search box at the top of the page. next i am andy author of events but i'm pleased to introduce our guest. known for her testimony to the u.s. house of representatives during donald trump's 2019 impeachment hearing, fiona hill has more than 30 years of experience in foreign policy. senior fellow at the center for united states and europe in the foreign policy program at the brookings institution, she is a former national security official former officer at the national intelligence council. co-author operative in the kremlin and the siberian curse. communist players left russia out in the cold. and she has written extensively on strategic issues related to eastern europe, central asia. there is nothing for you here,
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she trayce her path as a daughter of a coal miner and northern england were service to three u.s. presidents. examines a desperation impacting american politics is the only long-term hope for our democracy. tonight the sale will be in conversation with trudy rubin the columnist with the philadelphia inquirer and a longtime friend of the author. truly, fiona it is an honor to have you with us, the screen is yours. >> thank you so much. it is a pleasure to be doing this and it could not be more timely. because this book, there is nothing for you here goes from the personal and a coal town to the political and the white house. and to the whole issue of
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populism and how we are all struggling to save democracy. and since you all know about fiona's testimony in the impeachment over the ukraine it's interesting to see at expressive trumpet cannot let go of coming out against anyone who criticizes him and has put together an outrageous statement about fiona after issuing her book. it does have a wonderful punchline which i think will probably be used by fiona in the future. because it is funny but it also speaks some truth. the ex-president said fiona hill was a deep state with a
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nice accent. that speaks to the whole issue about the conspiracy theory in the deep state. but also speaks to a northern ireland accent to find fiona's origin, her class status in england, and in a way shaped in much of her life. so it makes me want to ask, why did you decide, fiona, to shape this basically political memoir through the story of your growing up in a coal mining town with a father who'd been thrown out of work? >> it really started, with my experience of the testimony two years ago in fact this month. that was when the depositions began.
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for the first impeachment trial. i realize during the hearings there's an awful lot of hostility of the present are people like myself will be enough to come forward. and all of that time they tried to attack our credibility, say things about us and that whole line about this being a deep state people who were some privileged elite part of the swamp president trump said he wanted to clean up try to suggest we were some nefarious grouping of privilege people who had been born out of born into these exalted statuses deep in the states.
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trump was purporting to be the president of the people the shipyards and that was meat that was my family. i grew up in the equivalent of the lehigh valley in pennsylvania. my relatives moved over to work and coal mines. my father wanted to do that. it really made me stop and pause and put together my personal, opening statement for the public hearings because i not had one, i decided to lay it all out in the beginning. i am not some bizarre member of some strange deep state behind that cord or action committee. i'm an ordinary person i'm an immigrant to the united
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states. come for the very humble origins of the people that president trump is trying to represent. laying it out in the very beginning, yet hundreds on the internet people are taking the time to write to me. basically saying started resignation inc. the story of my immigrant background and my father, great-grandfather and professional them as americans but a lot of other people that
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brought us to the first impeachment and the second impeachment. i wanted to explain how we got there but use the personal story because it resonates so much and certainly the vast majority the people of pennsylvania. with united states and britain showed differences of the similarities that we got with popular -ism. the factors are becoming the
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industrialized and the access president trump did not recognize when you recognize immediately. >> tell us a little bit what it was like growing out in a cold, no longer had a pit? what that meant for someone like yourselves who had aspirations. >> personnel the education system was keion both sides of this equation both in terms of
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downward mobility and upward mobility. i came to the u.s. is in my 20s from graduate schools. i look manufacturing around still works. why the education system is very similar for parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents. there was an expectation to further education and if he was going for skills training for the apprenticeship. technical college for something like this. i was a small sliver of the population. i was going to finish up a high school was five or 6% of
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kids in the united kingdom went on to college onto a university. but, for me at the time i was born in the 1960s in the 1970s and 80s, that opportunity to go to university had been opened up. because the local education authority gave full grant full scholarships essentially for people from lower socioeconomic background of limited means to it's like the pell grants it's like the g.i. bill with world war ii. so on one hand the educational system did not have a lot of expectations in it. and give people opportunities they have a paid for education. i was one of the few who got to go see university about five or 6%. but i got everything paid
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for. i did not have to hesitate or think about whether i could go to university and have to take out loans. i actually had the opportunity to go to university. the university is also to some of them opening up the educational requirements. since the big two in the united states but other universities making it easier for people like myself to start to apply and hope to get an entry. that to me is a very important message i try to bring out in the book. particular expectations it's that possibility to take advantage of an opportunity. i could not possibly even if i pass on the example i had i've gone to university because my parents could not may pay for. there is no way i could contemplate taking out a loan. >> you talked about your
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application to oxford. basically being told you were out of your league. even as we wrestle in the united states of the cost of education for everyone, including community college, the elite universities seem to be ever further away from the pocketbooks of the middle-class. and in a sense we are getting to the point where people used to be able to go to elite universities are out of their league when they try. what was this experience like when you went for your interview? >> the private universities like harvard, princeton, yale, they have a lot of scholarships. people for me for example still. a lot of people do not even know about it. when you are in a high school
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that teaches have college counselors are discouraging you from going to university and taking on loans or even applying for grants you do not even of those opportunities are there. this is the whole oxford story. wanted to show someone from my skull, my background. he asked me and a couple of other kids in my class she tried to apply. oxford had an entrance exam. at that time and the uk in the 1980s, people took special had annexed a year after school to prepare for the entrance exam. known at my school would ever seen this exam we no idea what it entailed. i kind of agree nothing
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ventured nothing gained. it's the math class for that middle school you did not study for. that was my experience as a living nightmare. they are essay questions does not prepare you for that kind of economic experiment and experience. so i failed the exam, surprise surprise bye-bye got a letter invited me down to an interview. that was amazing the give a chance. but no one explains to you what to expect under these circumstances. for the middle class background on the cultural awareness the training
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experience and connections to know what you need to do in these cases. was one humiliation after another. we got to the interview at oxford and the professor interviewing me actually suggested oxford would not be for me. but to be much better off going to the place where i could study what i wanted to study and i would actually get a lot more opportunities. he suggested which was the top of my list in scotland but had a fantastic opportunity there, i really did. it was an elite university they were much more forthcoming in trying to help people get over the hurdles the faculty were all much more gracious in their outreach trying to make people feel welcome. and help them navigate things. >> which is what everybody
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needs, help in navigating brake. >> it strikes me in the book he made the comparison with poor communities in the u.s. were even if young people get into a university they do not have the cultural background to navigate in the way you struggle to do. : : :
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it was a lot of minors north of england, wales and scotland that came over to work in the pennsylvania coal mines. of course, you know, really shifted my thinking. 1960s when my dad coal mine, he worked there several that close down, minds and pennsylvania and carbon county where recruiting for minors from the uk. my dad wanted to go. there were a number of minds they actually explored. he was looking after them at a time. we did not go. the irony is, of course come out that years or more later, the mind that he had to work would have closed as well.
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>> when i went to carbon county, i went to pennsylvania. you know, a sitting russian as well, that is where she was from entering the association of it. basically right next door. she recommended staying there for weekend. it is just like, you know, we have been talking the whole time about the parallels. this is it. this is basically pennsylvania, it was much more beautiful. it was very rugged and really something striking. it was the same thing. the whole county had just risen like mine. rotten immigrants from all over the world including from my area every historical building was tied to the mining community.
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also tied to the railways. the developments of the university all on the back of the industrialist who had prospered on answers like mining in the railways and all of the associated industries. in fact, and county terms, people had been mining since the romans where there. the whole history of mining in my county was even older. the rise of prosperity was within the same timeframe. the fall was very similar. the mines closed down. really early. one of the mines, i think it was a number nine. one of the ones that was recruiting when my dad was considering coming over to pennsylvania. i was really struck then. when i started thinking about how similar these experiences where of these regions. and then i am sitting russian and i get to russia and i see the same similarities, but on a much bigger scale than i've seen at home already and kind of
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pennsylvania. >> the industrialization after the collapse of the soviet. >> it was instantaneous. it was just overnight. all of the big factories and enterprises started to close down. the mines have to be propped up. minors were going on strike just like they had in my area. it was not going to come back in the same way. people certainly had this employment in the 1990s. you know, the one where you are covering those developments there. it is that massive employment bringing in new industry. an education system and the infrastructure of opportunity to adapt to a new technological situation. basically, the whole economy has moved on. it has left everybody behind. people in the same towns and cities and areas where their parents and grandparents and
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great-grandparents were. a lot of people did not want to build. you know, moving was the only opportunity. the soviet union, people tried to go to moscow. obviously, in the united states, there is no one place to go. it is very difficult to move in any case. it is extremely difficult for people to just approve themselves and go somewhere else. especially if they don't have the skills. they don't have the education qualifications and they don't know anyone anywhere else. >> what struck me is how you compared these areas in russia and britain and the u.s. looking at how the dissection went for populist leaders. your hometown was part of what was part of the red wall and britain. always voted labor because of
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mining and union. suddenly, the red wall broke. yorktown voted for brexit and it voted for boris johnson and sends conservative members to parliament for the first time in, i don't know, maybe ever. >> since 1989. similarities between the support and similar districts here is very pronounced. and even the early support for vladimir putin as a savior. >> people think that they are being let down. waiting around for 50 years, the case of my hometown, similar decades in the united states for new jobs to come back and to see your homes and your
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neighborhoods just all crumbling away because there is nothing there. that really does kind of feed into frustration with the politics, but also despair about their own prospects. so much research going on in the united states. casting men and women who also jumped off their sense of well-being and two, you know, succumbing to early death from cancer and from all kinds of other morbidities and the rise of substance abuse and i saw exactly the same thing happening in the 1980s and the united kingdom and in the 1990s in russia. the sequencing is different, but the phenomena is strikingly similar. russia is a very different country with a very different history. it is very similar with similar
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effects. >> why did, i would like you to talk about it. knowing that trump was part of this historical phenomenon looking to its populist leaders, why did you decide to work for him. >> because the impetus at first in 2017 was about russia itself. i cannot say that i was completely concentrated on when he was, you know, first elected. i knew the sources of people's grievances, the same thing happens in brexit in england. seeing members of my family and my neighbors. they wanted to bring back control. paying no attention to them. they were disinfected in the
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labour party. the labour party had let them down just like people i thought that the democrats had let them down. it was obvious that the motivations where there. i was really worried and 2017 when i agreed to go in what had happened with the russian influence. you and i have truly been focused on the opportunity who is mr. putin when he came into office in 2000. someone who is being fixated on who was this guy. the intelligence officer in the u.s. government. trying to figure out, you know, how we would deal with all of these efforts by the russian security services to carry out these activities. i am seeing what the russians were up to in terms of launching a sophisticated operation in 2016. i wanted to do something about
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it. i thought that i could help mitigate this. push back against what they have done and try to make sure that they could not do it again. the people that had worked previously in the government and the other public service efforts. for both the bush and obama administration during a transition period that is something i can try to do again. i felt like our house was on fire. i figure out the russians are not the half of it. the problem is what is happening in our domestic politics. the white house politics. let's just say any skills over my eyes, pretty much quickly dispelled. i realize i'm in a very similar situation. kind of what i was writing about when i was writing about russia
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and the kremlin. >> what this quickly revealed to you about president trumps interest in expert advice on the subject like love shack. >> this is a fairly silly story. one that i'm sure a lot of people can relate to. in the book, my daughter got food poisoning the night before being at the white house. she threw up all night. she threw up on me. i gave myself a black eye. i was going out in the morning. the first orientation session at
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the white house. i ran to the metro. i did not trust myself driving after being awake all night. i run to the metro and i realized my shoes. i had left my dress shoes behind every woman's nightmare. leaving your dress shoes behind. i get in there and i thought it will be okay. it will be fine. i will do a lot of and i will probably go home, but of course it did not happen. i'd only been in the orientation for about an hour and someone said there was an attack on the metro. i had missed it completely because i'd been with with my daughter. i did not check the news or anything. i have been and orientations about the white house computer systems. someone saying you have to come over because president trump wants to call president putin or a condolence call. you need to give him something to say. first of all, what happened?
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i have not got any shoes. i'm going to go into the oval office wearing a pair of black sneakers. the women that you work with, he said just come in the oval office. stick that she was the desk. he did not pay any attention to me at all. it will be fine. i told the president two things. first of all, this is the first attack in the metro. this is putin's hometown. it will be very personal for him. this is a big deal. what terms will be a big deal. what is she doing in here?
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>> oh my goodness. i realize quite quickly, you know, walking in unannounced. she is also supposed to be a special advisor. this is from the beginning. trump was running the whole show from his family affairs. what he had done in the past with his trumpet family business. on many occasions, they would be in meetings. not past their portfolio. trump would ask them, was not good. >> from night. dress code. >> yes. the tone was set by trump and
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fox news. if anyone has seen the movie bombshell about fox news, that was that. i felt completely out of place. not just from running around in my sneakers. i actually did feel compelled to go out and bought a few dresses just so i would not stand out. back in middle school or high school, people are looking at you for what you are wearing. they are expecting everyone to look. kind of a jarring experience. they write in the book about the way you dress and look, typically for woman, shaped the way that people judge you and interact with you. right off the bat. revelation, realization. i was not going to get in and out if i could look the part. it would be years later.
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i never imprinted on trump. he never saw anything other than a middle-aged woman. he noticed the accent. >> you right a lot about trumps disinterest and expertise, including in any serious briefing about putin himself, his motivation. you had written a whole book about putin. you sat next to about a major conference in moscow. he was never interested in that. >> no, not at all. i had been going there on a regular basis since 1987 in fact, i knew an awful lot of
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people around putin. some pretty key people in the russian government that i knew personally since i was in my 20s. going back there for 30 plus years. but, you know, that was irrelevant. i was not the ceo of a major company. i was not a billionaire. i was not on fox news. fortunately, as many of us have learned by watching us all very closely, trump was very much by who he thought his peer group was. a news anchor and getting his attention. expertise for him was really, he did not see the point of it. also, in my presence, mostly the people there, he believed being so successful in his private business that there was not anything else he needed to learn
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from any one else. he said that repeatedly. i know more than that person i don't need to hear from them. he never read his briefings in full. he did listen to the intel prefers when the cia director came over. he would listen to them. other issues, he must prefer to get his information from fox news or a personal friend or from another strong man leader that he really admired. and so putin, she, along of turkey, you name it a prominent leader or a major industrial private enterprise billionaire figure, he would nor listen to them or anyone else. those were his peers. not his staff, not the members of his cabinet.
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once you start to work for him he would disregard you gmac what does trump see and putin? did you ever believe that putin had something on trump or was he just a master manipulator? >> putin is a master manipulator , but president trump is remarkably easy to manipulate the issue, realizing that. normal circumstances, people would ignore criticism. they do not feel like they need to rise to it. i talk in the book about how president trump had a nastiness. make sure that people kept track of nasty things that people said about him to make sure he could get his revenge on them at some point in some way or another call them out or they were a foreign leader, he would not meet with them or any other kind of key person but then he was --
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the first they met trump, you know, kind of wanted to hear was where they going to be nice to him. will i like him? i thought that it was a really bizarre thing to really ask. of course he is not a nice man. how are you going to be able to deal with him. how are you going to be able to work with them. trump always wanted to know, did someone like him respect him? in the exchange of love letters. how he was. he wanted to be recognized as being in their company. he is superpowerful. the person that can get everyone to do what they want.
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he says this openly and repeatedly. what putin had was this knowledge, he could be very easily manipulated. again, i am trying to put this in the context of the kind of leaders that you get out of these popular circumstances. the performance of the economy and the stock market had on russian television which picked up on fox news and the press. immediately, trump wanted to call putin. that is what putin wanted the the american president calling and treating him as an equal. a very easy triumph. he got trump to call him. the press in the u.s. was all over every time. they thought that he was a candidate. he was being manipulated in a different way by putin.
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being -- pressing buttons to get him to do what he wanted. it wasn't about black male or holding anything over trump other than trump seeming to like him. seeming to talk about him in favorable terms. i found that really disturbing. it was a counterintelligence risk. something that we all think putin may have on trump if he can beat that easily manipulated, you are in enormous trouble. >> coming in to ask. arguing to the extension, involved in overreach and russian relations with the west. especially since russia is more regional than a world power.
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>> certainly, i mean, it was not just in overreach, it was actually a threat. you know, my earlier, you know, when i was starting out, i actually did not think that it was advisable to enlarge nato. who was i at that point? i was doing my work. working as a research assistant. i was not in a position. but, more prominent people who i work with very closely, the famous, you know, famous diplomat who wrote the telegram did not think about enlarging the great idea.
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my thesis for my phd's. actually holding the job to the reagan era. she also did not think interesting enough that expanding nato was completely advisable because they thought it would provoke a backlash from russia. that is actually how it played out. i think that one of the turning points and putin's very negative attitude came in 1999 when nato bombed, it was really a u.s. operation, but doing the standoff which was truly covered i happen to be in some pieces back at the time for the conference. there were many liberal politicians who were, you know the fall incentive.
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a further expansion of u.s. russian relations which we will have to operate the relationship this seems like a very aggressive action. it was targeted against russia. at that point, russia was supporting serbia in the region, the genocide against. that whole cold war concept. it was obvious that any further expansion of nato, you know, in the 2000's, after that, the incident, a development of the nato was going to be looked at in a very harsh and negative light. the question is surmising. that expansion really created a
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frame for people like putin and others to basically act against. >> we have a question. >> in the white house. you talk a lot about the chaotic aspect. this question wants to know, when trump spoke privately with putin and grabbed the translators notes, did everyone know what he really said? is he exchanging anything derogatory or not helpful to the united states? >> so, we do know what was said. that incident took place in
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hamburg at the g20. they were not alone at that particular meeting. there were other translators there. along with his counterpart, the russian foreign minister. president trump did not take his notes. they are not particularly useful because they usually just sort of shorthand to say what is said next in the sentence. the translator told me and another colleague what is being recalled from the conversation. there were several other people. he was the ceo of exxon mobil. he had a pretty good recall. very professional person. he had met with president putin
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on many occasions. he was kind of aware of the conversation and he followed up on everything. he actually had a press conference afterwards where he related pretty much everything that was said there. it was the way in which trump interacted with people. the conversation that he had with them was the same conversation he may have on twitter. he did not really modulate the way he had interaction. factoring in there that he's meeting with the president of a country, russia, that is being pretty confrontational. that was the problem. not that context, but the hallway they had these conversations. >> including at the press
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conference. >> that was the ultimate debacle. but, they sauce in the meeting with putin and trump which went on for a while. it helped to remember that vladimir putin speaks in very long sentences. a lot of the time has been taken up by the translation which is after, you know, the long expedition by putin depending on what he is talking about. putin also speaks english. he has been learning english. president trump is not speaking and large sentences. he is speaking back again. putin already has it anyway. the meeting behind the scene is fairly straightforward. trying to pull several fast ones
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it was a press conference that was a real disaster. because president trump did not want to be shown different to putin. the russian interference in the election. they thought that it was best to be asked for president trump. this guy here elected you, not the people of the united states. and, of course, he would not send anything. and then he did not want to actually disprove him in front of putin. .... .... that is not what happened. he ends up turning himself all over trying to avoid the question, trying to get back in his favor and ends up as we
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all heard basically giving put in the benefit of the doubt of his own intelligence. he was entirely predictable, entirely predictable. when president biden met with putin to very sensibly did not have a joint press conference. >> there's a question about how should the average among them be for the next election. i would like to tie that in with a couple of the major points you make in the book. you talk about trumps admiration and you mentioned you sought not just with putin with so if you are talking about the future, tell us a
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little bit about what you saw it in the past and the house and heard from the president. and what we might projects if he were to run and be elected again. >> also at that point. president trump openly praised, he repeatedly said he would love to have the situation there were no checks and balances. basically, the opportunity to do what he likes. essentially running america like his own private business. [inaudible] >> we heard him say he said in public. [inaudible] he is not a lot different in private than he is in public.
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we should be very concerned because he means that it's not a joke. people say in a joking fashion things they mean when they are deadly serious but he would do that to test to see how people pushed back. those leaders were not demagogues recognize it and someone called out on it as well. but the american politics is not calling out in the way he should. he's not a republican produced be a democrat he does not have any ideologies captured one of the main parties, the republican party and until people stand up and realize what's happening, he was legitimately elected. he managed to talk to people directly and tell them he's going to fix them or them he's only going to fix things for himself. he realizes a pig and a poke
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basically. it's an american expression something like that you think you're buying something valuable you are actually getting something quite contrary to what you are expecting. this is basically key is pulling a fast one. realize that and stand up for themselves and remember, members of congress took an oath to the constitution they promised to serve their constituents, all of them. and as a preamble to the american constitution they talked about in the adelphia back in the days of we the people. we are allowing one man to capture us all again. we are on a path they would not have foreseen hundreds of years ago. they did not seeing it playing out in this way or one person she could capture a party and
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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 succeed him. we are seeing this all over the world. we never thought we'd see it in america. the philippines we heard are
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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. this is a one man first. it's deeply disturbing. this is not just a populism. this is to talk or see.
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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 done to address the needs of people who have turned to populace and demagogues because of dissatisfaction, cultural economics with their economic
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situation i am curious, do you think those changes with the rise of a populace in this country for britain? i can only get to russia because it is a different situation. what are some of the key areas that you think must be addressed? do you think the biden administration is heading in that direction? >> i do think infrastructure is a public policy ideas encompass ideas in the book.
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going to be very hard work the politics are out there that's where the real rub is here to take personal responsibilities for this. that is why populism is so attractive. it's very complex and difficult. it's going to take very hard to take the edge off. too really tried to show two people we can do things. getting to the grassroots but local. something happened last week in philadelphia the people listening tonight saw this, there is a big opening of the inspector. in portland community for a
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variety of reasons. this may be the grassroots efforts with inspirational leadership to try to create bringing in kids from elementary, middle school all the way to high school, funding them for the extracurricular programs, mentoring them, creating transportation to get home after the activities and take this whole idea nationally. it's bringing kids and all kinds of socioeconomic backgrounds, from a place like many places in pennsylvania or northeast of england it's the economy. it is a real asset to show you can do something. they have a lot of political application as well. it is giving people hope
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giving kids a sense of priding themselves in the community. they're taking at national and it's time to do things in philadelphia. this kind of thing, what do libraries do? they provided knowledge they also provide opportunity. when i was a kid they would give you advice on things you can do. these are the kind of things we can do for in the absence of people getting their act together and tie all these things together at the bottom. things can be done here. those kind of shared projects to ask if your democrat or republican. you don't a shamir party card, this is free and open to the public we can send a message. we've got to get beyond these parties on politics.
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>> i think that is the perfect note on which to end. i am very pleased to say if you want to hear more from fiona hill i will be doing a live discussion on friday november 19 at 11:00 a.m. so thanks very much. thanks to the audience and the library.
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