Clinton aide releases debate prep footage

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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.

Perhaps Comey should have taken a cue from Clinton.

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

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.

Reines, a controversial Clinton insider, is known for, among other things, instructing a journalist at The Atlantic to describe a Clinton speech as "muscular" (which he then did), and a colorful email exchange with then-Gawker reporter J.K. Trotter about Clinton staffers' use of private email accounts. But, hey, at least they had a moment of fun before a devastating loss.

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Not easy to avoid the unwanted Trump hug, sometimes it even takes practice... It made for a pretty uncomfortable moment, which further proves the importance of Clinton's prep tactics.

It's one of Trump's well-known maneuvers, seemingly meant to turn a handshake into a judo-inspired show of dominance. Laughter from her staff can be heard in the video.

I burst out laughing when I saw this video this morning. In the story, a Comey associate, Benjamin Wittes, describes Comey's first interaction with Trump, and his desire to maintain distance between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the White House.

In that article, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director's friend Benjamin Wittes relayed, "Comey said that as he was walking across the room he was determined that there wasn't going to be a hug".

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". It was bad enough there was going to be a handshake.

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