Debate Guests: Trump To Bring Obama’s Half-Brother, Clinton Inviting Cuban

For Wednesday’s third and final presidential debate in Las Vegas, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have both invited guests intended to get under the others’ skin.

CNN reported Tuesday that Trump invited President Barack Obama’s Kenyan-born half-brother, Malik, and the mother of Benghazi victim Sean Smith, while Clinton will bring Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman and billionaire investor Mark Cuban.

News of Trump’s surprise guest came hours after Obama publicly chastised the Republican nominee for his “irresponsible” efforts to “discredit” the U.S. elections process, suggesting the invitation to his half-brother was meant in part as a rebuke to the president. Whitman is a major Republican donor who crossed the aisle to endorse Clinton and has campaigned on her behalf.

Patricia Smith, who has accused Clinton of “murdering” her son, was a featured guest at Trump’s Republican National Convention, and the Democratic nominee gave Cuban, who has publicly sparred with Trump over his net worth and erratic behavior, a front-row seat at the first debate.

While the debate guests are left up to the discretion of each candidate, Clinton’s campaign has reportedly taken steps to avoid the kind of high-profile confrontation Trump tried to stage at the last event by inviting three women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct as his guests.

Clinton’s staff gained approval to avoid the traditional pre-debate handshake between each candidate’s spouses, The New York Times reported Wednesday. Their request came after Trump’s team tried to force Bill Clinton to shake the hands of his accusers at the last debate in St. Louis, before the Commission on Presidential Debates intervened.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Sincerely,
TPM Staff
Latest Livewire
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: