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Fiona Hill, national security analyst, says that as a former lieutenant colonel in the KGB, Putin considers himself a spook. She continues that Russia uses intelligence aggressively to meddle in its adversaries’ affairs, and to gain reputational advantages. “It’s much more nuanced than just influencing the election; it’s more about putting a spotlight on the United States’ failings and damaging the credibility of our political system and our political elites,” says Hill, coauthor of the 2015 book, Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin.

Washington’s elites damaged their credibility and prestige on the world stage long before Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Vladimir Putin came along to try their hand at it. Weakening U. S. foreign policy is the easiest job in the world: you just watch it self-destruct. You don’t need to do anything except stand back.

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