Leaked emails containing purported excerpts of speeches Hillary Clinton gave after leaving the State Department see her discussing Russian President Vladimir Putin in strikingly positive terms as recently as 2014.
Putin is an "engaging" man and a "very interesting conversationalist," Clinton wrote. "I would love it if we could continue to build a more positive relationship with Russia," she remarked during one speech at Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs in 2013, adding, "obviously we would very much like to have a positive relationship with Russia and we would like to see Putin be less defensive toward a relationship with the United States so that we could work together on some issues."
Those comments, made behind closed doors, are markedly different from her public takes on Putin both in 2014 and this year. In March of 2014, for instance, Clinton compared Putin to Hitler. In the 2016 race, she has argued that rival Donald Trump's admiration for Putin "raises national security issues" and released a video suggesting Trump is working with Putin to manipulate the U.S. election via Russian hacking and leaks. She reiterated the latter claim in the second presidential debate Sunday. Bonnie Kristian