Fiona Hill Says Capitol Riot Was 'Dress Rehearsal,' Warns U.S. Is in 'Dangerous Moment'

Fiona Hill, a former top national security adviser to Donald Trump, suggested Sunday that the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6 foreshadowed political violence ahead.

"We've seen many historical episodes where there is violence, people discount it, they think that this is just a passing occurrence...and the next time around you get the real thing where people actually do seize those major buildings," Hill said during an interview on CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday.

The Capitol riot, she said, was "in effect a dress rehearsal for something that could be happening near term, in 2022, 2024."

"We've got election cycles here that will heighten the tensions, and once people start talking about violence, once the threshold is crossed, we're in a danger zone," Hill added.

Hill, who in the National Security Council served as senior director for Europe and Russia, said the U.S. is in a "dangerous moment."

Asked by host Margaret Brennan whether she believed populism on the right or on the left was more threatening, Hill pointed to the right, though she noted that populism on the left "contributes to the overall atmosphere of polarization."

"But very sadly it's on the right that we're seeing the main threats. It's actors on the right, not just in Congress and in the Senate—places where you'd actually expect people to be upholding their oaths of office to the constitution and to the people—but it's actors on that right who are also basically calling for violence against fellow Americans, and at all times they're talking down the integrity of the election system," Hill said.

She referred to the rally that former president Trump held in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday. Ahead of the rally, Trump supporters said they saw "civil war" coming and believed he would "save the world."

Hill Says Capitol Riot Was ‘Dress Rehearsal'
Fiona Hill warned Sunday that the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6 could be a sign that more political violence is coming. Hill, who served under Trump as the National Security Council’s senior director for Europe and Russia, is seen above on Capitol Hill on November 21, 2019. Win McNamee

"And of course we've just had the rally that president Trump conducted in Iowa, clearly prepping for his return to the presidency, a presidency he says that he's never left because he's saying that election was stolen away from him," Hill said.

"And the whole of the rally, about 85 percent of his speech at the rally, was all about the stealing of the election—I mean basically perpetrating a lie," she added.

Newsweek has reached out to representatives for Trump for comment.

On Friday, TV host Bill Maher similarly predicted the Capitol riot would prove to be a warmup.

"The ding dongs who sacked the Capitol last year? That was like when Al Qaeda tried to take down the World Trade Center, the first time with a van. It was a joke," Maher said. "But the next time they came back with planes."