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Clinton: 'I can be perceived as aloof or cold'
01:36 - Source: CNN

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Hillary Clinton sat down with the Humans of New York blog in August

"And sometimes I think I come across more in the 'walled off' arena," she said

Washington CNN  — 

Hillary Clinton spoke candidly in interviews published Thursday about perceptions that she can sometimes come off as “cold or unemotional,” describing her struggle to control her emotions without seeming “walled off” and speaking in personal terms about what it’s like to campaign as a woman.

“I know that I can be perceived as aloof or cold or unemotional. But I had to learn as a young woman to control my emotions. And that’s a hard path to walk. Because you need to protect yourself, you need to keep steady, but at the same time, you don’t want to seem ‘walled off,’” she told the popular website Humans of New York, a blog featuring street portraits and interviews collected on the streets of New York City.

Two blog posts from the interview were published Thursday. Clinton sat down for the interview last month with Brandon Stanton, the blog’s creator, at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel.

She spoke of an experience of being harassed while taking a law school admissions exam at Harvard University.

“My friend and I were some of the only women in the room. I was feeling nervous. I was a senior in college. I wasn’t sure how well I’d do,” she said. “And while we’re waiting for the exam to start, a group of men began to yell things like: ‘You don’t need to be here.’ And ‘There’s plenty else you can do.’ It turned into a real ‘pile on.’”

She continued, “One of them even said: ‘If you take my spot, I’ll get drafted, and I’ll go to Vietnam, and I’ll die.’ And they weren’t kidding around. It was intense. It got very personal. But I couldn’t respond. I couldn’t afford to get distracted because I didn’t want to mess up the test. So I just kept looking down, hoping that the proctor would walk in the room.”

Clinton has shared this story before, including in an interview with New York magazine in May.

The former secretary of state eventually went to Yale Law School, where she served on the editorial board of the Yale Review of Law and Social Action and met her future husband, former President Bill Clinton.

“Sometimes I think I come across more in the ‘walled off’ arena. And if I create that perception, then I take responsibility. I don’t view myself as cold or unemotional. And neither do my friends. And neither does my family. But if that sometimes is the perception I create, then I can’t blame people for thinking that.”

Humans of New York has also featured multiple posts about President Barack Obama and wrote an open letter critical of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.

In the second blog post, which posted later Thursday, Clinton praised Obama and her husband former President Bill Clinton

“But I’m married to one and I’ve worked for the other, so I know how hard they work at being natural,” Clinton wrote. “It’s not something they just dial in. They work and they practice what they’re going to say. It’s not that they’re trying to be somebody else. But it’s hard work to present yourself in the best possible way.”

Clinton wrote that having that “naturalness” could harder for when because of a lack of role models in higher elected offices, and that women are viewed through a “different lens.”

“I’ve learned that I can’t be quite so passionate in my presentation. I love to wave my arms, but apparently that’s a little bit scary to people. And I can’t yell too much. It comes across as ‘too loud’ or ‘too shrill’ or ‘too this’ or ‘too that.’ Which is funny, because I’m always convinced that the people in the front row are loving it.”

On Friday, Trump’s campaign manager criticized Clinton for “trying to have it both ways.”

“Screaming about sexism when you’re running as the first female president of the United States with two months to go, seems to me a bit desperate,” Kellyanne Conway said on CNN’s “New Day.”

CNN’s Dan Merica and Tal Kopan contributed to this report.