- Getty/ Chip Somodevilla
When the family members of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton enter the Las Vegas event hall on Wednesday night for the third and final presidential debate, they will not shake hands as they have done in the past, The New York Times reported Tuesday, a change The Times said was made at the request of the Clinton campaign.
During the second debate, held October 9 in St. Louis, Trump apparently tried to orchestrate a confrontation between Bill Clinton and women who had previously accused him of sexual misconduct.
To intercept any other disruptive plans the Republican nominee might have been cooking up this week, The Times reported, citing two anonymous sources with knowledge of the agreement, the Clinton campaign negotiated a plan that changes the way the candidates’ spouses will enter the debate hall. The two sides will not cross paths and will enter the room closer to their designated seats.
The candidates’ families usually greet each other at the start of debates, but it does not look as if that will be the case Wednesday night.
- Thomson Reuters
Both candidates have engaged in a form of psychological jujitsu during these debates. The Clinton campaign invited Mark Cuban, one of Trump’s major agitators, to the first meeting, held in Virginia in September. Before the second debate, Trump held a press conference with women who had accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct decades before. He also invited them to sit inside the debate auditorium.
And for Wednesday’s final meeting, the Manhattan billionaire reportedly invited President Barack Obama’s estranged half-brother, Malik Obama – a Trump supporter – as his guest.
Despite all of that, Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon says they are unbothered.
“Whatever scorched-earth tactics he has planned for the debate,” he told The Times, “we will be ready and she will be unfazed.”