Fiona Hill, the president’s former top adviser on Russia whose testimony was central to his impeachment inquiry, says Russia knows how to exploit our society’s divisions to put Americans on edge – just where its president, Vladimir Putin, wants us. Hill speaks to Lesley Stahl in her first interview since her testimony on Capitol Hill for a 60 Minutes report Sunday, March 8, at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. Hill tells Stahl while the Russians were a big factor in undermining the 2016 elections, they did not invent the issues that polarize us, but they’re good at manipulating them. “The Russians didn’t invent partisan divides. The Russians haven’t invented racism in the United States,” Hill says. “But the Russians understand a lot of those divisions, and they understand how to exploit them.” The disillusionment and anxiety caused by the broadening divisions are exactly what Putin wants. “Putin, sadly, has got all of our political class, every single one of us, including the media, exactly where he wants us,” Hill says. “He’s got us feeling vulnerable… on edge, and he’s got us questioning the legitimacy of our own systems.” Asked whether the U.S. and Russia are in another Cold War, Hill replies, in part, “There is no ideological struggle. The Cold War were two systems against each other. In a sense, we’re in the same system. We’re competitors.”
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