How to avoid a Trump hug? Let us count the ways

Pauline Gross
May 20, 2017

Reines released the video, which he called a "favorite moment from debate prep", on Twitter alongside text that read, "Not easy to avoid the unwanted Trump hug, sometimes it even takes practice". He grabs Clinton, aggressively, as she tries to scamper past him, and gives her a big bear hug.

The footage is a bit shaky, so it wasn't clear at first if it was really Clinton in the video, but Reines confirmed that it's the real deal in a follow-up tweet.

The narrative during the debates was that Clinton was the master preparer, endlessly doing mock debates and studying such that she might better school him on national television-and it worked!

And, yes, even though that video is super blurry and apparently taken on a 10-year-old Blackberry, Reines confirmed on Twitter that is, indeed, Hillary Clinton.

Her debate prep partner opens his arms to her, but the former Secretary of State grabs his hand and attempts to run away before he grabs her.

After all, there's nothing more awkward than an unwanted hug-except, as it turns out, an unwanted hug from your opposition in front of an audience of millions.

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Clinton herself tweeted Friday to her 15 million followers that she "burst out laughing when I saw this video this morning".

Sound familiar? Just last night, the New York Times published a story with remarkable details about former FBI Director James B. Comey's interactions with President Trump.

"Comey said that as he was walking across the room he was determined that there wasn't going to be a hug", Comey's longtime friend, Benjamin Wittes, told the Times. "Bad enough that he was there; bad enough that there would be a handshake; he emphatically did not want any show of warmth", Wittes wrote.

In short, he went all-in for a period of three months, trying to prepare Clinton for any trick Trump might pull in the debate.

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

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