Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as someone who has “never been too graceful in her statements,” according to the Kremlin transcript of an interview that aired on French TV and radio Wednesday.
After being asked about Clinton’s recent tough rhetoric on Russia’s foreign policy, Putin said, “It’s better not to argue with women.” He later characterized Clinton’s comments as a sign of weakness, which is maybe “not the worst quality for a woman,” he added.
Putin was responding to Clinton’s criticism of Russian foreign policy in Eastern Europe, especially her comparison of Putin’s Crimea annexation to Adolf Hitler’s European aggression ahead of World War II.
“When people push boundaries too far, it’s not because they are strong but because they are weak,” Putin said in the interview with France’s Europe1 and TF1.
Putin also criticized U.S. foreign policy as “aggressive” and suggested that “such extreme statements” suggest a lack of “valid arguments.”
Putin and Clinton have met and negotiated a number of times, especially when the former senator and possible frontrunner for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2016 served as America’s top diplomat from 2009 to 2013.
“We always met afterwards and had cordial conversations at various international events,” Putin said, reflecting on their interactions.
Clinton first knocked Putin at a Long Beach, California private fundraiser in March, when she compared his actions to that of Hitler’s in World War II.