1 Dr. Fiona Hill Final Impeachment Hearing
If there’s one witness that will be remembered from the impeachment hearings, it’s Dr. Fiona Hill, a former official with the National Security Council. No matter the side of the aisle, everyone’s commenting on her testimony – so much, that her name and clips of her addressing the House Intelligence committee were plastered across social media for much of the day. Why? Here are some highlights from her appearance: She hit Republican claims that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. Hill told a House impeachment hearing that it is a "fictional narrative" that has been fueled by Russia. She insisted that Russia "systematically attacked" America's democratic institutions. Hill said Russia aims to do it again in 2020 and warned, "We are running out of time to stop them." She called Ukraine a "valued partner" of the U.S. "U.S. support for Ukraine -- which continues to face armed Russian aggression,” she offered, “Has been politicized." Hill argued that Russia aims to weaken the U.S. by prompting uncertainty and division. She said Moscow spends millions of dollars to "weaponize our own political opposition research." Hill says that after much confusion, she realized later EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland was “absolutely right” not to coordinate with her – because he pursuing a different goal than she was. “He was being involved in a domestic political errand, and we were being involved in national security foreign policy, and those two things had just diverged,” she explained. “I was irritated with him and angry with him that he wasn’t fully coordinating and I did say to him, ‘Ambassador Sondland, Gordon, I think this is all going to blow up,’ and here we are.” She condemned political divisions. “When we are consumed by partisan rancor,” Hill offered. “We cannot combat these external forces as they seek to divide us against each other, to degrade our institutions, and destroy the faith of the American people in our democracy.” To that end, after three GOP congressman in a row used their five-minute question allotments to criticize the impeachment inquiry and its witnesses, Hill asked if she could respond. So who is Dr. Hill? The British-born Hill became a U.S. citizen in 2002 and is a Russian expert. She’s been described as a “nonpartisan foreign policy expert” and worked in the Bush and Obama administrations.
2 White House Slams Latest Impeachment Hearing
The White House is slamming the latest impeachment hearing in the House. In a statement, Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham says Democrats are clearly motivated by a "sick hatred" of President Trump and a "rabid desire to overturn the 2016 election." She also argued that the American people deserve better. Grisham said the latest witnesses have "no personal or direct knowledge" about why planned military aid to Ukraine was delayed, earlier this year. The White House has insisted that the money was temporarily withheld due to concerns about corruption in Ukraine. While President Trump has specifically lashed out at a number of witnesses online – Hill has escaped his ire thus far. Instead, he’s been focusing on the over-arching theme that no actual facts have been revealed. And aside from a number of retweets yesterday, last night, Trump posted a video to that effect.
3 Officials Confirm Two Killed In "Aircraft Mishap" At Vance AFB
Air Force officials say two Air Force airmen are dead following what's being called an "aircraft mishap" in Oklahoma. Vance Air Force Base officials say they died yesterday morning when a T-38 Talon went down during a training mission. Apparently, there was another aircraft involved in the crash, but those two airmen survived. "We are a close-knit family," says Col. Corey Simmons, commander of the 71st Flying Training Wing. "And when tragedies like this occur, every member of the U.S. military, Vance, Enid, feels it." As the investigation continues, the names of those involved are being withheld pending family notifications. Meanwhile, the Department of Defense is identifying two soldiers killed in Afghanistan this week. Officials say Chief Warrant Officer David Knadle, of Texas, and Chief Warrant Officer Kirk Fuchigami, of Hawaii, died Wednesday in the Logar Province. That crash is still under investigation as well.