The contentious battle between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton appears to be spilling over to their spouses. Clinton’s campaign has reportedly asked for a change to tonight’s pre-debate protocol that you’re sure to notice.
The New York Times reports the Clinton camp requested to break protocol, allowing her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and Trump’s wife, Melania, to skip their pre-debate handshake.
The move comes after Trump brought women who had accused Clinton of sexual assault and harassment to the last debate. Trump had planned to have the women sit in the VIP box, which would have forced Clinton to cross paths with them. The debate commission shot down that idea, so the accusers — Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey — did not cross paths with the Clinton family during the last debate.
In Las Vegas tonight, Trump is expected to have President Barack Obama’s half-brother, who is a Trump supporter, seated in his VIP area. Clinton is expected to have a Trump critic, billionaire Mark Cuban, in her section.
President Clinton and Mrs. Trump greeted one another with a handshake at the previous debates, but under the reported new arrangement, the spouses will enter the hall close to their seats instead of crossing the room, where they would have had to pass one another.
You’ll recall the candidates themselves did not shake hands before the last debate. They awkwardly nodded toward one another, but did not move in for the handshake.
That didn’t happen until the end of the heated debate.