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  • Hillary Clinton said Vladimir Putin likes to manspread and show his disdain for women leaders
  • She said Putin's manspreading is just the way he is
  • Clinton recalled Putin inviting her husband on a trip but not her during one of their meetings

Hillary Clinton has poked fun at Russian President Vladimir Putin's height and alleged habit of spreading his legs during meetings and photo-ops.

Clinton took digs at Putin during an interview at the Financial Times (FT) Weekend Festival in Washington, D.C., Saturday after she was asked about the Russian leader's alleged "manspreading."

"He's a short guy," the former secretary of state said of Putin, shrugging her shoulders. "He obviously works out all the time because he's got his shoulders about as broad as they can be given his size. He struts around, and he particularly loves to embarrass or show his disdain for women leaders."

Clinton recalled a story of Putin, who knew that Angela Merkel was afraid of big dogs, bringing a huge Russian wolfhound with him to a meeting with the former German chancellor in an apparent attempt to intimidate her and "just give her a hard time."

"He always manspreaded. That's the way he is," Clinton added of Putin.

The former presidential candidate also shared her own personal experience with the Russian president's "manspreading," which she said took place during her penultimate one-on-one meeting with him at his "dacha," or country home, outside of Moscow in 2011.

Clinton said that she was with an aide and the then-American ambassador to Russia when Putin called in the press and launched an attack on the United States in their presence. She said that before she could respond to what Putin had said, he escorted the media out.

"But when he's talking to the press, he's doing his manspreading and his kind of slouched down attitude," she recalled.

Clinton also shared that during that meeting, the Russian leader became "animated" when she praised his conservation efforts with the Siberian tigers and polar bears in the country's frozen regions.

She said that Putin led her to an office inside the building where there was a huge map of Russia. Putin then shared with Clinton the numerous initiatives he was doing to save numerous species from extinction.

Afterward, he reportedly told her that he was planning to go to the northern part of Russia to tag polar bears and asked her whether her husband, former President Bill Clinton, was available to accompany him.

"I don't know his schedule, but I'll get back to you," Clinton recalled replying at the time, before remarking that the invitation apparently did not include her.

In a previous interview with FT, Clinton claimed that Putin "was very sexist" towards her and cited an incident where the Russian leader spread his legs during a photo-op with the then-U.S. secretary of state in Russia in March 2010.

"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," she told FT. "He would then manspread for effect."

Clinton, who was the 2016 Democratic nominee for president, was allegedly targeted by the Russian government to secure the victory of her opponent, Donald Trump. He went on to become president.

The first few months of the Trump administration were marred with revelations of key members of the Trump campaign having ties with Russia, which culminated in a full-scale investigation.

President Vladimir Putin has long promised to address low birth rates that have shrunk Russia's labour force