Former Trump adviser considered pulling fire alarm to end ‘terrible’ summit with Putin

Helsinki press conference was a ‘terrible spectacle’ that White House aide wanted to end

Biden and Putin shake hands at summit venue ahead of talks

A former adviser to Donald Trump has admitted that she considered pulling a fire alarm during the former president’s 2018 summit with Vladimir Putin because it was so “terrible”.

During an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon on Wednesday, former Trump adviser Fiona Hill said she “seriously did consider” pulling a fire alarm to trigger an evacuation from the former US president’s press conference with Mr Putin.

It allegedly followed Mr Trump’s failure to challenge his Russian counterpart on a number of issues, including the Kremlin interfering in the 2016 US election.

Ms Hill, who was working as Mr Trump’s adviser on Europe and Russia, was inside the press conference in Helsinki, Finland, for the one day summit.

She told CNN: “First of all, I looked around to see if there was a fire alarm, but we were in a rather grand building [belonging to the president of Finland]”.

But according to Ms Hill, there was nothing resembling a fire alarm for her to trigger.

“Look, I had exactly the same feeling Deborah Birx had during the infamous press conference where there was the suggestion by president Trump of injecting bleach to counteract the coronavirus,” Ms Hill added on Wednesday.

It follows an interview with the BBC in February in which she admitted that her initial thought during the Helsinki press conference was: “How can I end it?”.

“I literally did have in my mind the idea of faking some kind of medical emergency and throwing myself backward with a loud blood curdling scream into the media,” Ms Hill said.

Her remarks came ahead of Joe Biden meeting Mr Putin on Wednesday for the first time as US president, in a summit being held in Geneva, Switzerland.

Mr Biden will not stand with Mr Putin for a press conference when the summit ends, with US officials wanting to avoid giving the Russian president a platform in front of cameras and the press, according to reports.

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