Former U.S. National Security Council Russia expert Fiona Hill has claimed that Russia is exploiting partisan divides in the U.S. government and media, saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin has the U.S. “exactly where he wants us.” 

“Putin, sadly, has got all of our political class, every single one of us, including the media, exactly where he wants us,” Hill said during a CBS “60 Minutes” interview airing Sunday.

“He’s got us feeling vulnerable, he’s got us feeling on edge, and he’s got us questioning the legitimacy of our own systems,” she said. “The Russians did not invent partisan divides, the Russians didn’t invent racism in the United States, but the Russians understand a lot of those divisions, and they understand how to exploit them.”

Hill testified during the impeachment inquiry of President Trump and has previously criticized "Russian narratives" which have spread in Washington. While giving her impeachment testimony in November, she lambasted Republicans who believe that Ukraine intervened in the 2016 presidential election.

“I refuse to be part of an effort to legitimize an alternate narrative that the Ukrainian government is a U.S. adversary, and that Ukraine — not Russia — attacked us in 2016,” Hill told the House Intelligence Committee. “These fictions are harmful even if they are deployed for purely domestic political purposes.” 

Russian interference has become a pertinent topic in recent years, after it was determined by numerous intelligence agencies that Russia disseminated disinformation on social networks during the 2016 election. This “fake news” often was slanted in favor of then-Republican presidential candidate Trump. 

In May 2017, a Special Counsel investigation, led by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, sought to answer the question of whether Trump had colluded with Russia during the 2016 campaign. In April, the Special Counsel released its report, which found no collusion, but left it up to Congress to determine whether Trump obstructed justice during the investigation.

Russian election interference is also a major issue in the 2020 election. Election security officials have warned lawmakers in February that Russia is again attempting to interfere in the election in favor of Trump. The Kremlin is also reportedly spreading disinformation in favor of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.