Hillary Clinton's advisers are devising a debate strategy to psych-out Donald Trump – talking to the co-author of his "Art of the Deal," getting advice from psychologists and analyzing the GOP primary debates, the New York Times reports.
According to the Times, Team Clinton believes Trump is most insecure about his intelligence, his net worth and his image as a successful businessman.
And that's what they're working with Clinton to target when the two meet for the first debate Sept. 26.
"Trump has severe attention problems and simply cannot take in complex information — he will be unable to practice for these debates," "Art of the Deal" co-author Tony Schwartz tells the Times.
"Trump will bring nothing but his bluster to the debates. He'll use sixth-grade language, he will repeat himself many times, he won't complete sentences and he won't say anything of substance."
"Even so, Clinton has to be careful — she could get everything right and still potentially lose the debates if she comes off as too condescending, too much of a know-it-all," he adds.
Clinton knows the Trump attacks will be fast and furious on her email server controversy, Clinton Foundation donations – and even her husband's infidelities, according to the Times.
"She knows that it's coming," Jennifer Granholm, a former Michigan governor and a member of Clinton's transition planning team, tells the Times.
But it's Trump's unpredictability Clinton advisers are most worried about.
"This is a special challenge for Hillary, who is deeply rooted in the fact-based world," Paul Begala, who helped prepare Bill Clinton for debates in 1992 and 1996, tells the Times. "She is more wonk than pol, so she might be especially frustrated by a steady stream of invective, conspiracy theories and lies."
What Team Clinton doesn't yet know is who they'll tap to try to rattle the Democratic nominee as a Trump stand-in during mock debates – though contenders include New York Rep. Joseph Crowley, who is from Trump's home borough of Queens, sharp-tongued James Carville, who was Bill Clinton's chief strategist in 1992, and brash billionaire businessman Mark Cuban, the Times reports.
The tactics are in stark difference to Trump's debate prep, which has rejected the usual debate coach and rehearsal at the lectern.
According to the Times, citing unnamed sources, at last Sunday's prep session at Trump's New Jersey weekend home, the GOP nominee asked questions about debate topics, Clinton's skills and possible moderators, but that relatively little was accomplished.
"I believe you can prep too much for those things," Trump said in an interview last week, the Times reports. "It can be dangerous. You can sound scripted or phony — like you're trying to be someone you're not."
He also told the Times he sees no "real need' for a mock debate beforehand.
"I know who I am, and it got me here," Trump said in an interview, according to The times. "I don't want to present a false front."
"I know how to handle Hillary," he asserted.
Trump tells the Times his eldest daughter Ivanka could end up playing Clinton at any debate rehearsal.
"Wouldn't she be great at that?" Trump asked, according to the Times.
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