Former Rep. Katie Hill said the ordeal she endured was “one of the darkest things you can experience” and found it completely dehumanizing and an out-of-body experience.
“You really can’t understand until you’re there,” she said Sunday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.” “As a public figure, you’re used to attack, but when it gets to the level of these threats, you’re not seen as a person anymore, and the dehumanization is something people can’t really understand unless you’ve been there. … We have to hold ourselves to a higher standard and recognize that no matter how despicable we think someone is, they’re still a human. You really can’t dehumanize them like this.”
Hill resigned Oct. 27 after allegations surfaced through articles and photos in conservative blog RedState that she had an affair with a congressional staffer and a campaign staffer, causing a Congressional Ethics Committee investigation to be opened. Hill denied the relationship with the congressional staffer, which would be a violation of House rules, but admitted to the affair with the campaign aide, which is not.
Additionally, the British tabloid Daily Mail published nude photos without her consent. She has claimed her estranged husband is behind the photos and has vowed to advocate for victims of revenge porn.
“What we have to think about is this isn’t just happening to me,” Hill said. “This is happening to women and girls across the country. I was asked about this all the time on the campaign trail by really young teenagers and girls who experience cyber-bullying in different capacities and who are saying ‘What are you going to do about this?’ and we don’t have an answer for that, so we need to figure out that fight.”
Hill also took swipes at the right-wing media in general for attacking her in an attempt to silence her and other women. She named two witnesses in the impeachment inquiry, Fiona Hill and Marie Yovanovitch.
Fiona Hill, a former member of the U.S. National Security Council, testified that Ukraine had nothing to do with the meddling in the 2016 election, a conspiracy theory Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani has put forth. She also said the ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, was involved “in a domestic political errand” of the president trying to get Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden, son of former Vice President and current presidential candidate Joe Biden.
Fiona Hill’s testimony led to Sean Hannity questioning her Ukrainian expertise. And Emerald Robinson, a correspondent for the far-right One America News Network, pointed to Hill’s British accent and questioned if she was a real American. Hill was born in England but became a citizen in 2002 and served under Bush and Barack Obama as an intelligence analyst.
Yovanovitch, President Trump’s former ambassador to Ukraine, testified that she was fired from her post after Giuliani and two associates ran a smear campaign against her.
Trump took to Twitter to attack her. “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad,” he wrote.
Katie Hill said these attacks are the new normal.
“We also need to see it as a tactic that is constantly used by the right,” she said. “I think that’s something that we see on attacks against women, not just high profile women but women across the board. These kinds of attacks are meant to silence you, demean you, and show that you do not have power, so for me it was important to show that that’s not going to work.”