Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden to debate for first time as front-runner Top Trump ally says potential Amash presidential bid could be problematic in Michigan Chaotic Trump transition leaks: Debates must tackle how Democrats will govern differently MORE made a speech in Las Vegas Monday night that had drawn fire for her $225,000 fee, and she met major Republican donor Sheldon Adelson in the process. 

Clinton was speaking at a fundraising dinner for the University of Nevada-Las Vegas Foundation. Students at the university protested her speaking fee, when it became public in June, though Clinton says those fees are donated to the Clinton Foundation. 


The Republican National Committee on Monday released a series of links to news coverage of the fee controversy, called "Clinton's Nevada Pay Day."

The dinner also honored Adelson, a casino magnate. Clinton recounted at the top of her speech that the two had met backstage, and Adelson said he wished he was moderating, so they could have a "real debate."

The moderator job went to Las Vegas Sun publisher Brian Greenspun, a friend of the Clintons. In the question-and-answer session, Clinton offered some tough words for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I think that he is at heart a bully, and I think you have to be smart, not confrontational, but you have to stand up and you have to encircle, and you have to try to choke off his ability to be so aggressive," Clinton said.

The former secretary of State said countering him required a long-term commitment. She recounted how in 2009, Europe resisted her push to become more energy independent from Russia, but she said, now it is "scrambling" to do so.

"I think he’s someone that can be understood and dealt with, but it takes a long-term strategic commitment, and our country, since the end of the Cold War, hasn’t really gotten back to making those long-term strategic commitments," she said.

The effort while Clinton was secretary of State to "reset" relations with Russia, now mocked by Republicans, did not come up.

In July, Clinton defended the effort, though, while promoting her latest memoir. "What I think I demonstrate in the book, is that the reset worked," Clinton told NPR. "It was an effort to try to obtain Russian cooperation on some key objectives while [Dmitry] Medvedev was president."

Politics was not far away in Las Vegas, as Clinton attended a fundraiser for vulnerable Sen. Mark UdallMark Emery UdallDemocrats hope some presidential candidates drop out — and run for Senate  Denver Post editorial board says Gardner endorsement was 'mistake' Gardner gets latest Democratic challenge from former state senator MORE (D) in Colorado and for Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidSenators briefed on US Navy's encounters with UFOs: report Key endorsements: A who's who in early states Trump weighs in on UFOs in Stephanopoulos interview MORE (D-Nev.) earlier in the day.

The inevitable subject of a presidential run came up when Greenspun gave Clinton a pair of "running" shoes. They were also partly a joke about someone throwing a shoe at Clinton in Las Vegas in April. 

Clinton is well practiced at answering this question, saying of her future: "I really am going to have to ponder that seriously."