Clinton Walks Back Putin Nazi Comparison

The former Secretary of State had also drawn parallels between Russia issuing passports in Crimea and Hitler’s pre-World War II actions

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Nick Ut / AP

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to students at the University of California Los Angeles campus on the subject of leadership, March 5, 2014, in Los Angeles.

Speaking at an event at UCLA Wednesday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denied she drew a parallel between Russia’s recent actions in Ukraine and Nazi Germany at a fundraiser Tuesday.

“I’m not making a comparison, certainly,” Clinton said. “But I am recommending that we perhaps can learn from this tactic that has been used before.” She also called Putin “a tough guy with a thin skin.”

Clinton’s comments Tuesday raised eyebrows after a Long Beach Press Telegram reporter at the $1,500 a plate fundraiser in California wrote that Clinton had spoken of similarities between the Nazi policy of offering protection to ethnic Germans outside of Germany in the run up to World War II and Vladimir Putin’s policy of offering passports to ethnic Russians in Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Crimea region.

“Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hilter did back in the 30s,” she said Tuesday. “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.”