Reines stood in as Trump during Clinton debate prep
The tweet mocks news about Comey and Trump
Philippe Reines, who stood in as Donald Trump during debate preparation for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election, tweeted a video showing him jokingly trying to force a hug on Clinton while they practiced for a debate in September.
Reines, who worked for Clinton when she was secretary of state under President Barack Obama, wrote in the tweet: “Not easy to avoid the unwanted Trump hug, sometimes it even takes practice … A favorite moment from debate prep (9/24/16).”
He attached a low-quality video of Clinton and him practicing introductions for the debate, where he walked up to her and tried to hug her while she jokingly ran away. Laughter from her staff can be heard in the video.
Reines’ tweet comes after Benjamin Wittes, former FBI Director James Comey’s friend, recalled to news outlets that Comey told him he was reluctant to accept an invitation to the White House earlier this year because he didn’t want even an appearance of a personal relationship with Trump.
At one point during the White House event, Wittes said, Comey stood in a position so that his blue blazer would blend in with the Blue Room’s blue drapes in an effort for Trump to not notice him. But it didn’t work – Trump called him out by name, leading to a greeting captured on camera.
“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,” Wittes wrote.
But Trump tried to hug him anyway, which Comey avoided, and it resulted in an awkward handshake.
After seeing Reines’ Twitter post alluding to the Trump-Comey moment, Clinton tweeted later Friday, “I burst out laughing when I saw this video this morning. Hope it brightens your day.”
CORRECTION: This story was updated to reflect that the handshake between Trump and Comey occurred in the Blue Room of the White House.