Former National Security Council official Fiona Hill testified Thursday as part of the impeachment inquiry that some Ukrainian officials made “ill-advised” statements against then-candidate Donald Trump and backed Hillary Clinton in 2016, validating the president’s skepticism towards the country.
Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) questioned Hill about Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election, suggesting that it was a “fictional narrative.”
“Dr. Hill…you characterized the idea that Ukraine interfered in the election as a fictional narrative. Have you seen any evidence at all that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election?” he said.
Hill then produced two articles she was presented with during her closed-door deposition. One article was an op-ed in The Hill by then-Ukraine Ambassador to the U.S. Valeriy Chaly in August 2016, which was critical of then-candidate Donald Trump.
Rep. Himes interrupted her, read from the op-ed and asked her rhetorically, “Does that sound like election interference to you?”
She responded, “Well, I would say it’s probably not the most advisable thing to do for an ambassador because you never know who is going to win,” she said.
The other article she brought up was a Politico piece by journalist Kenneth Vogel that outlined efforts by a Democratic National Committee contractor Alexandra Chalupa to work with Ukrainian officials to distribute dirt on the Trump campaign.
“Kenneth Vogel is a very well-known, and as you pointed out, extremely good journalist,” she said. “I think it is extraordinarily important and gets to the issue here.”
“Mr. Vogel points out that the Ukrainian government, again, they wouldn’t have done very well at the bookies…they bet on the wrong horse — they bet on Hillary Clinton winning the election. And so, you know, they were trying to curry favor with the Clinton campaign — it’s quite evident here,” she continued.
Hill cited several Ukrainian officials in the article who were trying to collect information on Trump’s then-campaign manager Paul Manafort “and other people as well.”
Fiona Hill says then-Ukrainian Ambassador to the US Valeriy Chaly wrote an "ill-advised" op-ed bashing Trump in the run-up to the 2016 election. Said the Ukrainians "bet on the wrong horse" (Hillary), and said she could understand why Trump felt aggrieved: https://t.co/WUvo9NHTdI
— Kristina Wongsgiving 🇺🇸 (@kristina_wong) November 21, 2019
Hill added that “many officials from many countries including Ukraine” also “bet on the wrong horse.”
“They believed that Secretary Clinton, former Sen. Clinton, former First Lady Clinton was going to win. Many said some pretty disparaging and hurtful things about him, and I can’t fault him for feeling aggrieved about them,” she added.
She remembers collecting remarks that world leaders had made about candidate Trump after she joined the administration, in advance of head of state visits.
“An awful lot of senior officials in many governments, including our allied government, said some pretty hurtful things about the president. And I would also personally take offense at some of the things that were said if I were the president.”
Follow Breitbart News’s @Kristina_Wong.