Putin and Trump Watch Out: Hillary Clinton's Battle Cry for Strong Women Reporters to Fight Strongmen Leaders

Hillary Clinton encouraged international women journalists who have faced threats for scrutinizing strongmen including Russian President Vladimir Putin—as American media have from her 2016 election opponent President Donald Trump—to keep fighting.

The former presidential candidate and secretary of state moderated the keynote conversation at the Women in the World summit Friday in New York City on “The Gathering Threat” of authoritarian regimes and “what it’s like to be a journalist, especially a woman journalist in the difficult environment.”

“We will talk about the strongmen that these journalists cover, that we read about every single day,” Clinton said, and “what we can do to get the world back on a track that is more respectful of human rights and freedom.”

Clinton brought up the topic of what typically happens to women in authoritarian regimes, to highlight the importance of the contributions that journalists on the panel have made.

“Very often, the tightening up affects all groups, but it also affects half of the population because all of a sudden women’s roles and women’s leadership is diminished,” she said.

Clinton said that Putin has “mixed authoritarianism with corruption to keep a group of oligarchs in power” and invited the journalists to share their experiences.

Yevgenia Albats, editor-in-chief of The New Times in Russia, said that “authoritarian regimes are based on dividing people, putting people against each other,” and that it’s important for the U.S. as a democracy to set an example.

“What’s important to understand is that you shouldn’t be frightened, that they thrive on weakness,” Albats said. “Your strength is our future freedom.”

Clinton commended the women for a “really lively” panel and said there were many lessons and takeaways from their experiences and observations.

“One of them is, when you are confronting the potential loss of the values you are about, your freedom,” she said, “Do not be quiet, do not stop talking, do not stop voting, do not give in to those whose views are the opposite of what you believe.”

“I hope this conversation will continue and I look forward to talking to them in the future,” Clinton said, “To make sure that the strongmen don’t send us back. We’re not going.”

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