Don't hug me, bro! Watch Hillary Clinton try to duck a hug from 'Donald Trump'

Key Points
  • A Clinton staffer playing Trump gives Clinton a bear hug
  • The video was shot two weeks before a decade-old tape came to light revealing lewd comments about women by Trump
Hillary Clinton
Getty Images

Watch those hands, "Donald!"

Hillary Clinton's presidential debate preparation included practicing — unsuccessfully — avoiding getting hugged by a grabby Donald Trump stand-in, a video posted Friday reveals.

The video shows Clinton on Sept. 24 walking out on a mock stage to greet a man playing the Republican nominee Trump for the prep session for the debate, which was being held two days later at Hofstra University on Long Island, New York.


"Trump" actually is Philippe Reines, a longtime Clinton aide, and the stage is a actually a conference room at the Doral Arrowwood Hotel in Westchester County, New York.

Reines/Trump is seen on the video walking toward the then-Democratic nominee Clinton, his arms open wide as if to embrace her.

Clinton then gamely tries to duck Trump/Reines by giving him a "high-five" hand slap.

But Trump/Reines is not to be denied. He grabs Clinton, aggressively, as she tries to scamper past him, and gives her a big bear hug.

People behind the camera shooting the video then start laughing hysterically at the scene, as Clinton smiles.

Clinton's campaign communications chief, Jennifer Palmieri, told CNBC on Friday, "I think everyone can understand why she was not eager to find herself in his embrace."

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


Reines posted the video on Twitter a day after The New York Times reported that then-FBI Director James Comey was uncomfortable receiving an unwanted hug from Trump on Jan. 22 during a White House ceremony.

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."

The Clinton debate prep video was shot two weeks before the bombshell news that Trump, in 2005, had boasted in lewd language to then "Access Hollywood" anchor Billy Bush about grabbing women without their consent.

"I'm automatically attracted to beautiful women — I just start kissing them, it's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything," Trump said in that 2005 conversation, which was captured by an audio recording, and which occurred only months into his marriage to Melania Trump.

"Grab 'em by the p----," Trump said.

In response to that disclosure, Trump at the time said, "This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago."

"Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended," Trump said.