Ms Gillard and Mrs Clinton had a private meeting in Perth late last year which Ms Gillard recounted to journalist Anne Summers, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

Gillard said she had spoken about the pressure of being ‘The First’ with Barack Obama, and how she and Mrs Clinton had talked about the issue of being a high profile woman.

“We did have a discussion about where our media cycle was stuck then, which was this relentless opposition questioning about events the best part of 20 years ago,” Ms Gillard said in the interview.

Ms Gillard was facing questions at the time over her role in the AWU affair dating back to her time as a lawyer in the 1990s.

Mrs Clinton told Ms Gillard that she had ”seen this movie before”, comparing the situation to the questions the Clintons faced over the Whitewater development scandal.

Mrs Clinton told Ms Gillard : “You’ve got to stand up to it and be clear about it and name it for what it is because the temptation is to say, ‘Look this is so absurd, it’ll die a death’, whereas these things unfortunately don’t die a death.”

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