WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - With less than a week to go until the pivotal first general election debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, both candidates are focusing on their preparations for what could be a campaign-changing showdown.
Clinton has scaled back her campaign trail appearances this week, focusing instead on meeting with advisors and, presumably, debate prep. Her campaign team is closely guarding details of her preparations, but multiple media reports have claimed she is studying Trump’s primary debates, with a particular aim toward finding ways of getting under his skin.
"I tell you, I am going to do my very best to communicate as clearly and as fearlessly as I can in the face of the insults and the attacks and the bullying and bigotry we've seen coming from my opponent," Clinton said on the Steve Harvey radio show Tuesday morning.
Trump has also revealed few details of his debate prep strategy. We know only that it will be unconventional, and that former Fox News chief Roger Ailes is reportedly involved in strategizing how to take on Clinton.
On the campaign trail, Trump has said little about his plans for the debate. Much of his comments have been focused on the moderators instead – alternately referring to NBC’s Lester Holt, the first moderator, as very fair, and potentially part of a system rigged against him.
“Look, it’s a phony system. Lester’s a Democrat,” Trump told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly. They’re all democrats. Ok? It’s a very unfair system.”
(According to New York State voter registration records, Holt is actually a registered Republican.)
Forgoing traditional pre-debate cramming with advisors, Trump has kept up a fairly healthy campaign schedule this week, and mocked Clinton for not doing the same.
“Hillary Clinton is taking the day off again, she needs the rest.” Trump tweeted on Tuesday morning. “Sleep well Hillary- see you at the debate!”