Dr. Fiona Hill, the former top National Security Council expert on Russia, set the record straight on that country’s attack on the 2016 election.

“Based on questions and statements I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country — and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did,” Hill testified during the House impeachment inquiry last week.

“This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves. The unfortunate truth is that Russia was the foreign power that systematically attacked our democratic institutions in 2016. This is the public conclusion of our intelligence agencies, confirmed in bipartisan congressional reports. It is beyond dispute, even if some of the underlying details must remain classified.”

America is not the only nation targeted by Russia. The Kremlin’s assault on elections — democracy’s DNA — is apparent in many Western nations. This includes the United Kingdom, where Brits will have to wait until after the Dec. 12 election for a report on the extent of Russian interference in the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Some voices here at home have helped muddy the waters, which is a factor Hill highlighted in her testimony. “President Putin and the Russian security services operate like a super PAC,” she said. “They deploy millions of dollars to weaponize our own political opposition research and false narratives. When we are consumed by partisan rancor, we cannot combat these external forces as they seek to divide us against each another, degrade our institutions and destroy the faith of the American people in our democracy.”

Russia’s, not America’s, interests are advanced by the “fictional narrative” that it wasn’t the Kremlin that attacked the U.S. in 2016. On that point, a deeply divided Congress, and country, must agree.

— Los Angeles Times

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