Donald Trump met with former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes on Sunday to prepare for Trump’s upcoming debates with Hillary Clinton.
NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reported the two met at Trump’s weekend residence in Bedminster Township, N.J., in a session that was attended by radio host Laura Ingraham, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani:
Sources say that while Trump has held at least one prior session focused around the first debate, he has resisted the addition of a traditional GOP debate coach and full-scale rehearsals behind a lectern.
A top debate coach in Republican circles said of the candidate, “He learned the wrong lessons from the primary,” where quick smackdowns in a crowded field worked. But allies say Trump trusts his gut instincts, ease on television and unpredictability as assets. One suggested that the more Team Clinton telegraphs a well-choreographed game plan, the less Trump wants to prepare in the same fashion.
The Washington Post reports the weekend sessions are relaxed, with Trump resisting the kind of full-scale practice sessions that involve standing at a lectern and answering questions with time limits. Instead, “over bacon cheeseburgers, hot dogs and glasses of Coca-Cola, they test out zingers and chew over ways to refine the Republican nominee’s pitch.”