A funny video of Hillary Clinton preparing for a presidential debate with Donald Trump has surfaced online, depicting the former secretary of state sidestepping an enthusiastic hug from a Trump stand-in.
The video, shot in advance of the candidates’ September 2016 debate, was tweeted Friday by ex-Clinton aid Philippe Reines to the tune of 272K views, 7,600 retweets, and 22,000 likes. “Not easy to avoid the unwanted Trump hug — sometimes it even takes practice,” Reines captioned the video.
Not easy to avoid the unwanted Trump hug, sometimes it even takes practice…
A favorite moment from debate prep (9/24/16): pic.twitter.com/JAAHaqKFoa
— Philippe Reines (@PhilippeReines) May 19, 2017
The footage depicts Clinton and Reines (who played the part of Trump) walking toward each other, waving to the “crowd.” Reines opens his arms to embrace Clinton, who nimbly high-fives the man while giving a fist-pump and then scooting off to her podium. At that point, Reines grabs Clinton’s shoulders with both hands and pulls her toward him, while the room erupts in laughter.
Twitter went wild for the video, with many commenting on Clinton’s so-called elusive sense of humor and Trump’s sexual assault allegations.
@PhilippeReines This is the side of HRC that more people needed to see.
— skwalters (@skwalters52) May 19, 2017
@SJHart2Hart @BethRickenbaker @joannesmoot @MadieRes @PhilippeReines So embarrassing. One of the preparations ypu have to do before meeting the American President is avoid being publicly groped by him
— Useless Showboat (@NewaHailu) May 19, 2017
@PhilippeReines Thank you for making us smile today! This is amazing. Her laugh makes me laugh!
— Dave Telfer (@davetelfer) May 19, 2017
Despite claiming to be a “germaphobe” who views handshakes as “barbaric,” the president has a reputation for exceptionally earnest greetings.
In February, when meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Trump was videotaped thrusting his hand out while Trudeau appeared to hesitate. In fact there was no tension between the men but the perfectly timed moment was immortalized in viral GIFs.
Justin Trudeau is looking at Trump's hand like he just read the Russian Dossier pic.twitter.com/XGpGF7O7LG
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) February 13, 2017
That same month, a meeting between the president and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe went viral when Trump was videotaped aggressively shaking the leader’s hand for a full 19 seconds. After the men broke contact, Shinzo appeared to roll his eyes in discomfort.
On Friday, Trump, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, embarked on his first international trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel and Italy, but there’s little doubt he saw the footage on Twitter mid-flight.
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