Not easy to avoid the unwanted Trump hug, sometimes it even takes practice...— Philippe Reines (@PhilippeReines) May 19, 2017
A favorite moment from debate prep (9/24/16): pic.twitter.com/JAAHaqKFoa
President Trump’s hugs are apparently difficult to avoid, enough so that it’s worth practicing.
The Trump stand-in who helped prep Hillary Clinton for the 2016 debates shared a short video clip Friday of the former Democratic presidential candidate practicing ways to gracefully avoid an embrace.
“Not easy to avoid the unwanted Trump hug, sometimes it even takes practice...” Philippe Reines wrote on Twitter.
Reines was apparently sharing the video in reaction to reports this week that fired FBI Director James Comey unsuccesfully tried to avoid hugging Trump when the two met at the White House after Trump’s inauguration.
An associate of James Comey described the awkward encounter with Trump on his blog, and said Comey was “disgusted” by it.
Benjamin Wittes set the scene:
“Comey took the long walk across the room determined, he told me, that there was not going to be a hug. Bad enough that he was there; bad enough that there would be a handshake; he emphatically did not want any show of warmth,” he wrote. “Again, look at the video, and you’ll see Comey preemptively reaching out to shake hands. Trump grabs his hand and attempts an embrace. The embrace, however, is entirely one sided.”
As it turned out, Clinton did not have to worry about a pre-debate hug. Although the two shared a cordial handshake at the start of the first debate, it was the only such greeting: As the campaign got nastier and Trump hosted several women who made sexual misconduct accusations against former president Bill Clinton, the two did not shake hands to start the second or third forums. They instead exchanged somewhat pained nods in the second debate and did not appear to acknowledge one another to start the third.Christina Prignano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @cprignano.