Vladimir Putin says Hillary Clinton is ‘weak’ but it’s ‘better not to argue with women’ in sexist rant live on French TV

Russian President hits back after former US Secretary of State compared him to Hitler in March

The Russian President Vladimir Putin has hit back in his ongoing row with the former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying that it is “better not to argue with women” and that “maybe weakness is not the worst quality for a woman” in a series of sexist comments live on French TV.

Mr Putin’s interviewer was forced to intervene and say that “women must be respected, of course” after the President was asked about the prospect of seeing Ms Clinton at the D-Day commemorations in France.

The pair last clashed in March when she described Russia’s actions in Ukraine with those of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s.

When the comments were brought up in the interview last night, Mr Putin said: “It’s better not to argue with women. But Ms. Clinton has never been too graceful in her statements.

He added: “Still, we always met afterwards and had cordial conversations at various international events. I think even in this case we could reach an agreement. 

“When people push boundaries too far, it’s not because they are strong but because they are weak. But maybe weakness is not the worst quality for a woman.”

Read more: Prince Charles 'compares Putin to Hitler'

Asked at a California fundraiser earlier this year about Mr Putin’s annexation of the Crimea peninsula and the apparent pressure applied by Russian troops on the eastern Ukrainian border, Ms Clinton reportedly said: “Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the 1930s.

“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.”

After telling Mr Putin that “women must be respected, of course, and I’m sure you respect them”, the interviewer asked if he was “angry” about Ms Clinton’s remarks.

He said: “Someday I will indulge myself and we will laugh together at some good joke. But when I hear such extreme statements, to me it only means that they don’t have any valid arguments.”

Mr Putin’s sexist attack coincidentally came on the same day that Ms Clinton, speaking in an interview with People magazine, spoke about her ambition to “break down that highest, hardest glass ceiling in American politics” and become the US’s first female President.

She said that for now she wanted to enjoy the moment of becoming a grandmother and take time to consider “what I think is right for me”.

But the former First Lady added that she feels many Americans think the nation has “unfinished business” in sending the first woman to the White House.

The interview appears just a couple of days before the release of Ms Clinton's book detailing her four years as Secretary of State under President Barack Obama. She told People that she remains “concerned about what I see happening in the country and the world”.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
News
Bill O'Reilly attends The Hollywood Reporter 35 Most Powerful People In Media Celebration at The Four Seasons Restaurant on April 16, 2014 in New York City
media It is the second time he and the channel have clarified statements
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola, writes Ian Herbert
News
people
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Voices
Zoë Ball says having her two children was the best thing ever to happen to her
voices Thank you Zoë Ball for saying what all parents are afraid to admit...
Sport
Tim Sherwood celebrates after Aston Villa open the scoring against West Brom
football
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Key Sales Account Manager - OTE £35,000

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Designer / Design Director

£38000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This B2B content marketing agen...

Austen Lloyd: Law Costs HOD - Southampton

£50000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: An outstanding new...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn