Fiona Hill said she was “thrown off” by Jared and Ivanka being on a call between Trump and Putin.
Hill, Trump’s top Russia adviser on the NSC, recounts the 2017 episode in her new memoir.
“It wasn’t exactly their remit, but obviously this call was going to be a family affair,” she wrote.
Fiona Hill was “surprised” and “thrown off” to see Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner included on a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, she writes in her newly-published memoir.
Hill, who served on the National Security Council as former President Donald Trump’s top adviser on Russia, recounts the high-stakes May 2, 2017 call between Trump and Putin in her book “There Is Nothing for You Here: Finding Opportunity in the Twenty-First Century.”
The call came about a month after Trump ordered retaliatory airstrikes against the Syrian government for targeting civilians with chemical weapons. The move put the US at odds with Russia, who was backing Bashar Al-Assad’s regime over the opposition rebels.
Hill played an important role on the call not only as one of the world’s foremost experts on Russian politics and Putin, but as the only Russian speaker in the room. She wrote that after she managed to get into the Oval Office, she “was left wondering where to place myself when Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, came in and sat down on one of the sofas.”
“I was surprised, and a bit thrown off,” Hill wrote.”Ivanka and Jared were both senior advisers, but I had no idea they would be sitting in on the Putin call. It wasn’t exactly their remit, but obviously this call was going to be a family affair.”
“Trump professed great satisfaction with the call … Putin seemed calm, measured, friendly even. Ivanka and Jared concurred. I was not so sure … I had detected more menace in what Putin had to say,” Hill, who’s written a biography on the Russian president, said. Hill wanted to interject, but didn’t get a chance.
“He had no interest in the substance at all, just the fact that he had a ‘good’ call with Putin and that Ivanka and Jared had agreed. The whole thing was slightly surreal,” Hill wrote.
Kushner and Ivanka, both of whom grew up and spent most of their careers in their respective family real estate empires, played predominant roles in shaping Trump administration policy despite their collective lack of domestic and foreign policy experience.
Another former top Trump aide, ex-White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, less diplomatically unloaded on Ivanka and Kushner in her own memoir, “I’ll Take Your Questions Now,” which was published on Tuesday.
Grisham wrote that she, other White House staff, and, at times, former First Lady Melania Trump, derisively referred to the couple as “the interns” because they “represented in our minds obnoxious, entitled know-it-alls.”
White House staff called Ivanka “the Princess,” Grisham said in the book. And she called Kushner “the Slim Reaper” and “Rasputin in a slim-fitting suit” because he intervened in other people’s projects and then took credit for their work, she wrote.
In another foreign-affairs-related instance, she recounted how Kushner and Ivanka tried to join Trump and Melania on their visit to see Queen Elizabeth II – a significant breach of protocol for an official state visit. But they were turned away because there wasn’t enough room on the helicopter.
“I finally figured out what was going on,” Grisham wrote in the book. “Jared and Ivanka thought they were the royal family of the United States.”
Read the original article on Business Insider