Former Trump National Security Council member Fiona Hill said this week that President Donald Trump’s “actions have put us on the brink of civil war” after his supporters stormed the Capitol, according to The Hill.
Hill, who served as the senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council, called the Capitol raid a “coup” in a Politico op-ed, saying that a coup does not need to be a “sudden, violent seizure of power involving clandestine plots and military takeovers.”
“Trump disguised what he was doing by operating in plain sight, talking openly about his intent,” she said. “He normalized his actions so people would accept them. I’ve been studying authoritarian regimes for three decades, and I know the signs of a coup when I see them.”
Hill said the president’s efforts to remain in power during his presidency constituted a “self-coup” that failed. However, she noted, Trump’s supporters “still believe the false narrative” that he won the election, thanks to his unfounded claims of voter fraud, echoed by Trump’s Republican allies.
“Trump has not repudiated it, nor have the House and Senate Republicans who voted against the Electoral College results,” she wrote. “Millions of people still think the election was stolen. They still support Trump the person, not the Republican Party, and many are prepared to take further action on his behalf.”
“As in the case of other coup attempts, the president’s actions have put us on the brink of civil war,” Hill continued. “Trump did not overturn the election results, but, just as he intended, he disrupted the peaceful democratic transition of executive power.”
“If we are to restore democratic norms and make sure this does not happen again, these congressional Republicans will have to take personal responsibility for their actions in support of Trump’s coup attempt,” she wrote. “They must tell the truth to their constituents about the election and what the president tried to do in January 2021. They owe it to the people they represent as well as the country they serve.”
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