The video was taken on Sept. 24 as a prep session for the Hofstra University debate that would take place a few days later.
It’s entertaining and clearly lighthearted, but also slightly unnerving:
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
On the one hand, the video doesn’t appear to be all that serious, as you can hear laughter in the background, and the imagery itself is entertaining: Reines-as-Trump and Clinton are basically play-wrestling. Clinton herself even retweeted the video, adding that she “burst out laughing” when she saw it:
I burst out laughing when I saw this video this morning. Hope it brightens your day. https://t.co/CEcdoaQUuC?ncid=edlinkushpmg00000313— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 19, 2017
But on the other, it’s likely that Clinton had to legitimately prepare for having to physically engage with Trump. It makes sense that you’d have to formulate some sort of plan to go up against someone with a history of being verbally violent and physically threatening ― especially towards women.
Even ex-FBI Director James Comey was reportedly “disgusted” by Trump’s aggressive gestures when the president embraced him during a Jan. 22 White House ceremony.
Reines, who plays Trump in the video, talked about his portrayal of him in Clinton’s debate preparation to Politico back in January and, apparently, he went “full method actor” with the job. Though, he didn’t mention any specific Trumpian actions he practiced on Clinton, he mimicked Trump’s physicality “so that Clinton would grow accustomed to Trump’s looming presence when she saw Reines in her peripheral vision.”
We’re not sure anyone can “grow accustomed to Trump’s looming presence” anymore.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.