Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday compared Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine to actions taken by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler outside Germany in the run-up to World War II.
Making her first extensive comments about the crisis in Ukraine, Clinton said at a private fundraiser in California that Putin’s campaign to provide Russian passports to those with Russian connections living outside his country’s borders is reminiscent of Hitler’s protection of ethnic Germans outside Germany, according to a report published overnight.
“Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the ’30s,” Clinton said Tuesday, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram. “All the Germans that were … the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they’re not being treated right. I must go and protect my people, and that’s what’s gotten everybody so nervous.”
The Press-Telegram appears to have been the only publication present for Clinton’s remarks at an otherwise closed-press luncheon fundraiser Tuesday attended by about 250 people to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach.
Earlier Tuesday, BuzzFeed reported that Clinton spoke extensively about the situation in Ukraine, quoting Harry Saltzgaver, the executive editor of the Gazette newspapers group in Long Beach, who attended the Clinton event as a guest.