Hill says Trump officials were involved in a 'domestic political errand' in Ukraine

Source: The Hill | November 21, 2019 | Morgan Chalfant

Former White House national security official Fiona Hill said Thursday the U.S. ambassador to the European Union and other Trump administration officials were running a “domestic political errand” by pursuing investigations that could help President Trump politically.

Hill, a top Russia expert on the National Security Council who resigned from her post over the summer, described in public testimony in the House impeachment inquiry dueling tracks of U.S. policy. She said she angrily confronted Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the EU, during her last week on the job because he wasn’t coordinating with her team on Ukraine policy.

“What I was angry about was he wasn’t coordinating with us,” Hill testified Thursday. “He wasn’t coordinating with us because we weren’t doing the same thing that he was doing.”

Hill said that at the time Sondland told her he was speaking to Trump, White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He indicated that he didn’t need to coordinate with others, she said.

Hill said it came full circle for her Wednesday, as emails Sondland provided to impeachment investigators were made public. She testified that it was clear Sondland was involved in “a domestic political errand” that diverged with the policy track pursued by the National Security Council.

“He was being involved in a domestic political errand. and we were being involved in national security foreign policy,” Hill said. “And those two things had just diverged.”

Hill described herself as “irritated” with Sondland at the time and that she told him it would all “blow up.”  

“And look at where we are,” she said. Hill also disputed Sondland’s characterization that the meeting happened over “coffee” on her last day at the White House. 

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