Hillary Clinton Says Putin 'Was Very Sexist Towards Me' and Would 'Manspread for Effect' in Front of Press

The former secretary of state spoke about Russia President Vladimir Putin in a new interview with the Financial Times

hillary clinton and Vladimir Putin
Hillary Clinton (left), Vladimir Putin. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty; SERGEI GUNEYEV/Sputnik/AFP via Getty

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says that while Russian President Vladimir Putin was "helpful" in some private interactions in the past, she also found the leader to be "very sexist" and "insulting" at other times.

"Yes, he was very sexist towards me," the former secretary of state said of Putin in a new interview with the Financial Times. "We had some interesting, even helpful, interactions in private and then the press would be invited in and he would say something insulting about America. He would then manspread for effect."

Clinton, 74, was specifically speaking about a 2010 meeting with the autocrat in Russia, which she has previously recounted in past interviews.

In a 2017 interview with Stephen Colbert, Clinton said that Putin had a "personal grudge" against her, though she "didn't take it personally."

"I think it's part of his worldview," she said. "Which is all tied up with his anger, his disappointment in the collapse of the Soviet Union and his feeling that we are his number one rival."

She added that the fact that she's a woman "does seem to get him a bit agitated" — and that agitation could be seen in his body language.

"There's an expression, we certainly know it in New York, called 'manspreading.' And every time I met with him, it would be [gestures that he spread his legs widely].... the whole deal," she added.

Other U.S. officials have offered similar insights into Putin's psyche by recounting anecdotes of his past behaviors.

Former President George W. Bush, for instance, has previously relayed an exchange the two leaders once had years ago involving their pets.

"I introduced Vladimir Putin to Barney, our Scottish terrier, and [he] dissed him," Bush said at a March event, as reported by Politico.

Bush continued: "A year later, Laura and I go visit Vladimir and his wife — this was before he decided to be with a gymnast 30 years younger — and he says, 'I want you to meet my dog.' I said, 'Yeah, sure.' And I'll never forget, out runs a huge Russian hound," Bush said. "And Putin says 'Bigger, stronger, and faster than Barney.'"

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Elsewhere in the interview, Clinton told the outlet it's "out of the question" that she would run for the presidency in 2024, and that she anticipates throwing her support behind President Joe Biden.

"First of all, I expect Biden to run," she said. "He certainly intends to run. It would be very disruptive to challenge that."

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