Donald Trump’s running mate and campaign manager Sunday denied the campaign invited Gennifer Flowers to Monday night’s presidential debate against Hillary Clinton.
Flowers gained nationwide attention in 1992, saying she had an affair with former President Bill Clinton. At the time both Clintons denied there was any truth to the claim. Later, Hillary Clinton said she hadn’t known about the affair and when the truth came out about the 12-year affair, she was deeply hurt by it.
BuzzFeed reported Flowers would accept the invitation after Trump tweeted Saturday he might put her in the front roll in retaliation for Clinton inviting Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, a vocal Trump critic who has questioned the candidate’s claims about his wealth.
“We have not invited her formally, and we do not expect her to be there as a guest of the Trump campaign,” Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told CNN’s “State of the Union.” Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence told “Fox News Sunday” Trump was just mocking the Clinton campaign.
“Gennifer Flowers will not be attending the debate tomorrow night,” Mr. Pence said. “Donald was using the tweet yesterday really to mock an effort by Hillary Clinton and her campaign to really distract attention from where the people — the American people — are going to be focused tomorrow night, which is on the issues. It’s one the choice that we face.”
Raising Bill Clinton’s sexual history as a campaign issue could be dangerous territory for the Trump campaign, which faces a massive gender gap. Trump’s marriage to Marla Maples grew out of an affair he had while still married to first wife Ivana Trump. Trump currently is on his third wife, Melania.
Trump hammered at the issue during the primaries, saying the affair showed Hillary Clinton mistreats women involved with her husband.
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook told “State of the Union” bringing up Flowers just shows Trump is trying to bully his opponent.
The Clinton campaign has launched a attack ad calling on Trump to release his tax returns to prove he doesn’t have ties to Russia.