KEY POINTS

  • Hill said Trump was more focused on things he could relate to himself during his presidency
  • She  revealed Putin was often frustrated over Trump's lack of knowledge on geopolitical issues
  • She said Trump's lack of knowledge played a role in Russia's decision to invade Ukriane

A former aide of Donald Trump said she was surprised at how narcissistic the ex-president was during the time she served as his deputy assistant. 

Speaking on BBC’s “Sounds,” foreign affairs expert Dr. Fiona Hill said Trump had never thought about putting America first during his time as president. Instead, Hill said the former president focused on things that he could relate to himself. 

“I was really kind of shocked about how narcissistic he was. He’s no different in public and private,” Hill said in the interview. “It wasn’t about America first. His only ideology was self-idolatry. This was a man who didn’t know any history.”

Hill added that they were constantly working to mitigate the damage caused by the actions of the former president, who she said did not have the discipline to follow through on things he could have done that may have had a positive effect. 

In the interview, the former White House aide revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin often became frustrated with Trump’s lack of knowledge on geopolitical issues. She said that the former president’s lack of knowledge forced Putin to explain things during their meeting, an act that the Russian leader hated doing.

"You could see that he got frustrated many times with President Trump because he had to keep explaining things, and Putin doesn't like to do that," she said Tuesday at a Chicago Council on Global Affairs event. "Even though he loves to be able to spin his own version of events, he wants to have predictability in the person that he's engaging with."

Hill also claimed that Trump’s lack of knowledge on geopolitical issues played a key role in Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine with President Joe Biden as the leader of the United States.

"He thought that somebody like Biden — who's a transatlanticist, who knows all about NATO, who actually knows where Ukraine is, and actually knows something about the history, and is very steeped in international affairs — would be the right person to engage with," Hill added.  

Hill served as Trump’s deputy assistant from 2017 to 2019. She later became one of the key witnesses of Trump’s first impeachment hearing over threatening to withhold U.S. foreign aid money until Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky investigated Joe Biden’s son Hunter.  

Fiona Hill, the former top Russia expert on the National Security Council, takes the oath before testifying during the House Intelligence Committee impeachment hearing against President Donald Trump Fiona Hill, the former top Russia expert on the National Security Council, takes the oath before testifying during the House Intelligence Committee impeachment hearing against President Donald Trump Photo: AFP / Brendan Smialowski