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Fiona Hill recalled trying to cause a fire alarm at Trump's 'mortifying' joint press conference with Putin in Helsinki, and said it was a 'great idea' Biden isn't doing one

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trump putin handshake
Then-President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a 2018 joint press conference in Helsinki. Chris McGrath/Getty Images
  • Fiona Hill, a former national security advisor, recalled Trump's 2018 press conference with Putin.

  • She called it "mortifying and humiliating" and said she tried to pull a fire alarm to end it.

  • She said it was a "great idea" Biden isn't holding a joint conference with Putin after their Wednesday meeting.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The top Russia expert at former President Donald Trump's White House recalled trying to pull a fire alarm at his joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018, and said it was a "great idea" that President Joe Biden was not doing one this week.

Speaking to "Don Lemon Tonight" on Tuesday, Fiona Hill called the 2018 conference "mortifying and humiliating for the country."

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She said: "I just thought, let's cut this off and try to end it. I couldn't come up with anything that just wouldn't add to the terrible spectacle."

She had told the BBC in February: "My initial thought was just 'How can I end this?' I literally did have in my mind the idea of faking some kind of medical emergency and throwing myself backwards with a loud blood-curdling scream into the media."

When asked to elaborate, Hill said: "I did seriously think about it. I first of all looked around to see if there was a fire alarm, but we were in a rather grand building attached to the presidential palace of the Finnish president, who had lent it to us for the occasion. And I couldn't see anything that resembled a fire alarm.

Read more: These 9 Trump-era officials are still holding high-level positions during the Biden administration

According to Axios, Hill is part of the team prepping President Joe Biden for his first meeting with Putin in Geneva later Wednesday.

They are not holding a joint press conference. Hill told CNN she thought that was a "great idea."

fiona hill
Fiona Hill testifying to a House Intelligence Committee hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into Trump on November 21, 2019. Erin Scott/Reuters

At the 2018 joint press conference, Trump backed Putin over the US intelligence community on the subject of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Hill called the event "one of those moments where it was mortifying and humiliating for the country."

Hill, a former White House national security advisor, testified during Trump's first impeachment hearings, as House lawmakers investigated his dealings with Ukraine.

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