Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Watch Hillary Clinton Try to Avoid Hugging Trump Stand-In During Debate Prep

Clinton dodges the hug and Reines chases her around and tries to maul her like a hungry bear.

Philippe Reines, a political consultant who has been a senior adviser to Clinton since she headed the State Department under President Barack Obama, acted as stand-in for Trump during the candidate's debate preps.

Comey took the long walk across the room determined, he told me, that there was not going to be a hug. Thus Comey uses his larger vantage point to maintain a handshake even as Trump moves in to create a hug.

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Philippe Reines, a Clinton adviser who stood in for Trump during the candidate's debate prep a year ago, posted a video on Twitter of the former secretary of state reaching for a handshake during one September prep session, while Reines, as Trump, opens his arms for an embrace. The prep took place in Westchester County, New York, two days ahead of the first presidential debate. Later in the day, Clinton herself responded with a retweet, saying it made her "burst out laughing".

Reines' tweet and video is a tongue-in-cheek poke at Trump and timed perfectly following reports that Comey also sought to avoid his embrace. It was bad enough there was going to be a handshake.

CORRECTION: This story was updated to reflect that the handshake between Trump and Comey occurred in the Blue Room of the White House.

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In fact, Comey was so desperate to avoid Trump during the event that he even reportedly tried to blend in with the White House curtains with the hope that Trump wouldn't see him.

"A very simple immediate reaction: If you don't want to hug someone, don't hug them", Reines said.

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