Speaking at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin on Friday, Clinton made reference to Hitler's speeches, which saw people raise their right arms in the air in the Nazi salute, per Fox News.
"I remember as a young student, you know, trying to figure out, how people get basically brought in by Hitler," Clinton said, per Fox News. "How did that happen? I'd watch newsreels and I'd see this guy standing up there ranting and raving, and people shouting and raising their arms. I thought, 'What's happened to these people?'"
Clinton then drew a comparison between those rallies and Trump's event in Ohio and the former president's supporters' unusual finger salute as he stumped for Ohio Senate candidate JD Vance. Attendees of the rally in Youngstown, Ohio, raised their fingers to the sky as a QAnon-associated song played.
"You saw the rally in Ohio the other night, Trump is there ranting and raving for more than an hour, and you have these rows of young men with their arms raised," she said. "I thought, what is going on?"
Trump's post-presidency office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment on Saturday morning, but a spokesperson for the former president described Clinton's comments as "some of the most disgusting smears imaginable" in a statement to Fox News.
"It seems like perpetual-failed-candidate Hillary Clinton's basket of deplorables has run stale, not unlike herself," said Taylor Budowich, a Trump spokesperson, per Fox News. "It's pathetic, it's divisive, and it is further cementing her legacy of cringe."
The finger salute at the Ohio rally generated controversy, prompting New York State Senator Anna Kaplan to compare it to the "Heil Hitler" salute used by Nazis.
"I talk a lot about the importance of learning the history of the Holocaust — so that we don't repeat history's darkest chapter ever again — and the horrifying images from these events remind us that we have a lot more work to do yet," said Kaplan, a Democrat, last Sunday.
Insider's Alia Shoaib reported that security staff at a rally in Wilmington, North Carolina, appeared to try and stop rally-goers from doing the salute on Friday, according to a video. PBS Newshour journalist Lisa Desjardins, who attended the rally, tweeted that security staff fanned out and told people to take down their fingers.