Hillary Clinton practiced avoiding unwanted Trump hug before debate

Philippe Reins, a political consultant who once served as a senior adviser to Hillary Clinton during her tenure as secretary of state, has posted a video showing how Clinton worked to avoid unwanted Trump hugs during her debate preparations.

He wrote in a tweet: "Not easy to avoid the unwanted Trump hug, sometimes it even takes practise".

Clinton thought the video was hilarious and replied to the tweet by saying that it made her laugh. In an interview conducted via email on Friday, Reines said Clinton strategists didn't necessarily think Trump would try to hug Clinton, per se, but might attempt to differentiate himself from Clinton visually.

She was also the most favoured candidate to win the election, but Mr Trump won with 304 electoral college votes, to Ms Clinton's 227.

Philippe Reines shared video from September, which showed him attempting to force Clinton into a hug while standing in as Trump during her presidential debate prep.

Reines purchased four podiums on Amazon, two for his home and two for the secret office the Clinton campaign lent him at the PerkinsCoie law firm in Washington, D.C. He searched eBay for a 2005 Donald J. Trump signature collection watch, which he purchased for $175.

The Frankenstein-like approach to a hug seems eerily accurate, though "Trump's" chasing after Clinton after being awkwardly denied was probably hyperbole.

In a column Thursday, Comey's friend Benjamin Wittes wrote in a Lawfare blog post that "Comey was disgusted" by Trump's embrace, which the top G-Man regarded as an effort "to compromise him before Democrats who already mistrusted him".

Comey said he "pre-emptively reached out for a handshake and grabbed the president's hand". It was bad enough there was going to be a handshake. You can see her in the video below as she walks onto a mock stage, set with lecterns just like a real presidential debate, and strolls out to greet her mock opponent, waving to the imaginary audience.

  • Zachary Reyes