Recent Trump Hire Reboots Worry Over Staff Loyalty to Agenda
President’s newest adviser on Russia policy is Soros alum, comes from liberal think tank
by Margaret Menge
Faced with a continual stream of damaging leaks, some supporters of President Donald Trump worry the White House has been infiltrated by staff who are not supportive of his populist policies — or, worse, wish to actively foil the president’s agenda.
“SOROS MOLE INFILTRATES @realDonaldTrump WH ! ‘Russia Expert’ on NSC Staff hired by McMaster longtime SOROS agent,” longtime Trump friend and former political adviser Roger Stone tweeted on June 2.
The Russia expert Stone was referencing is Fiona Hill, hired in March from the Brookings Institution to serve on the National Security Council as Trump’s top adviser on Russia and Europe. Her resume on the website of Brookings shows that from 2000 to 2006, she served as an adviser to leftist billionaire activist George Soros’s Open Society Institute.
The Open Society Institute (now called the Open Society Foundations) is a massive organization that provides millions of dollars to left-wing causes. Among the organization’s top priorities is open borders and expanding mass Muslim migration from the Middle East and North Africa to western nations.
In the United States, the Open Society Foundations provide funding for the anti-Trump “Resistance,” and the group openly funded many of the so-called #NotMyPresident protests held in January 2017.
Hill is a dual U.S.-British citizen who came to the United States in the late 1980s to study Russian at Harvard University. She’s a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has worked for the Brookings Institution since 2000, except for three years when she took a leave of absence to work on the National Intelligence Council under President George W. Bush, from 2006 to 2009.
The Brookings Institution is the most prominent liberal think tank in Washington, and a Republican president hiring a policy expert from Brookings is tantamount to a Democratic president hiring a policy expert from the conservative Heritage Foundation. In the 44-year history of The Heritage Foundation, this has never happened.
“Was there no one they could have hired from AEI or CATO, Heritage or any other less liberal think tank?” one long-time former congressional staffer and Pentagon official asked LifeZette. “I’m really sick of this — and Trump should be, too.”
Hill wrote a major book on Russia in 2013 along with her colleague at Brookings, Clifford Gaddy, called “Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin.”
The book depicts Putin as a super-scheming former KGB operative and paints a picture of the Russian president as paranoid for believing that the U.S. was seeking to pull the Ukraine from Russia’s orbit and install an anti-Russian leader. It was later revealed the State Department under Hillary Clinton was indeed involved in doing just that, according to reporting from esteemed journalist Robert Parry.
The authors contend the U.S. and Russia are in a virtual state of war and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
Hill and Gaddy say, on page 394 of their book: “Until a New Yalta is thrashed out, Russia and the West will remain at war. They will be fighting a new war that is fought everywhere with nonmilitary as well as military means.”
Despite an increasingly strained relationship with Moscow over the ongoing conflict in Syria and allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election, such an explicitly hostile view towards Russia seems to run counter to Trump’s stated desire on the campaign trail to normalize relations.
At campaign rallies, and in TV appearances, Trump consistently said, when asked, that he thought the nation could have a better relationship with Russia and President Vladimir Putin.
“If Putin wants to go and knock the hell out of ISIS, I am all for it, a hundred percent, and I can’t understand how anybody would be against it,” Trump said at the Republican presidential debate in Milwaukee on Nov. 11, 2015.
Hill is far from the first adviser to enter the White House who has raised the eyebrows of some Trump loyalists.
Dina Powell, who was hired by National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster to serve as the Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy, worked for a decade heading up philanthropy for Goldman Sachs in Manhattan, where she also served on the Council on Foreign Relations.
As the head of the Goldman Sachs “10,000 Women” initiative to support female entrepreneurs, Powell chose to have the annual dinner celebrating women take place at a Clinton Foundation meeting in 2014.
At a Republican club meeting in Atlantis, Fla., on June 1 where Trump associate Roger Stone was the guest speaker, a woman in the audience asked Stone whom he thought was the most “treacherous” person working for Trump. Stone had a three-word answer: “Dina Habib Powell,” using Powell’s maiden name. Stone referenced an article in Politico asserting Powell’s best friend is Hillary Clinton confidant and longtime aide Huma Abedin, and that her other best friend is Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett.
“Why is she there?” Stone asked rhetorically, “I mean, this is a conservative Republican reform administration. She supports none of the policies.”
Some Trump supporters have also expressed trepidation about Gary Cohn, the president’s top economic adviser — and still a registered Democrat — who told the media from the G-7 summit on May 26 that the president had come to the summit meeting “to get smarter” on the issue of climate change, and attacked the coal industry in America, saying coal “doesn’t make sense anymore as a feedstock.”
Rick Manning of Americans for Limited Government said he was “p*ssed” by Cohn’s comments. In a guest column in the The Hill, he wrote that Cohn had “deliberately undermined” Trump.
“If Democrat Gary Cohn wants to be president, he can take his Wall Street resume back to New York City, build his own campaign, and try to convince the Bernie Sanders-dominated party of his choice to nominate him,” he wrote.
At the State Department, Never-Trumper Elliot Abrams was very nearly hired by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to be his deputy, and was only stopped at the last moment by the president himself. Trump supporters were alarmed that Abrams, who had, as the National Interest put it, “spent much of the previous year pointing out where Trump has gone wrong on foreign policy, why his positions are dangerous to America’s exceptional character and global power, and why other foreign-policy luminaries like him would be mistaken to support him” would have come that close to being the No. 2 at the Department of State.
Where are the conservatives?
Frank Gaffney, the head of the Center for Security Policy, says he’s passed names of some excellent candidates along to the Trump administration, to no avail.
“I’ve been frustrated that a number of people who I believe could have been hired and should have been hired have not been, and that the people who have been hired [for those positions] do not support the president’s view, or, in some cases, support the last president’s views,” he told LifeZette.
He declined to say, when asked, who in the White House he was communicating with about which positions. But he said he thinks what’s needed is a “course correction” so that the president can better follow through on his agenda, alluding to reports that National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has pressured the president to stop using the term “radical Islamic terrorism.”
“I personally think if you don’t agree with the president on something as fundamental as the term of radical Islam, that should be a disqualifier,” he said.
The establishment Republicans around Trump “must be removed,” Stone said on June 1, and begged the president: “Surround yourself with people who share your agenda. Surround yourself with people who are loyal to you, not the Republican National Committee, not the Republican Party, but the United States of America.”