UPDATE — 6:19 p.m. EDT: Republican vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence said Sunday that Gennifer Flowers will not attend Monday’s debate in New York.
“Donald Trump was using the tweet yesterday really to mock an effort by Hillary Clinton and her campaign to really distract attention from what the American people are going to be focused tomorrow night, which is on the issues, on the choice that we face,” Pence said on Fox News Sunday.
On Saturday, the GOP nominee tweeted that he would invite Flowers, who allegedly had a nearly decade-long affair with then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, after his wife’s campaign asked billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to attend.
Cuban has been a long-time critic of Trump, dating back to the latter’s reality-show days.
In a surprising development certain to cause some consternation within the Hillary Clinton campaign, Gennifer Flowers, a former mistress to Bill Clinton will appear in the audience at the first presidential debate held Monday evening at Hofstra University.
Flowers tweeted her intent to support New York businessman Donald Trump and announced she would “definitely” be at the debate. For good measure, Flowers certified her tweet with a lipstick emoji.
Hi Donald. You know I'm in your corner and will definitely be at the debate!…💋
— Gennifer Flowers (@gennflowers) September 24, 2016
Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told CNN Ms. Flowers was not formally invited to attend Monday’s debate by Mr. Trump and was unable to confirm her attendance Monday evening. “No, I can’t confirm that and I can’t believe how easily the Clinton campaign was baited,” Conway said.
Flowers’ invitation appears to be the result of a Twittersphere war in which the real estate mogul responded to businessman and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s announcement he would sit in the front row in support of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Trump responded to Cuban’s taunt by suggesting Gennifer Flowers could be seated next to him.
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) September 23, 2016
If dopey Mark Cuban of failed Benefactor fame wants to sit in the front row, perhaps I will put Gennifer Flowers right alongside of him!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2016
Flowers, a former B-move actress and model who once posed nude in the adult-themed Penthouse Magazine, became a source of irritation and embarrassment in 1992 to then-Governor Bill Clinton as he was pursuing his bid for the White House.
Flowers alleged a 12-year affair with Clinton, a charge he denied. Shortly after Clinton’s contradiction, Flowers held a press conference and produced secretly-recorded phone conversations with Clinton. Clinton denied the charge and further repudiated the he had participated in the phone conversations.
Flowers later sold the taped conversations to the tabloid magazine, Star; Bill Clinton reversed his decade-old lies in his autobiography, My Life, and in a 1998 deposition in which he was charged with sexual harassment.
Since fading from the public consciousness, Flowers operated a cabaret in New Orleans’ French Quarter, wrote a memoir and appeared in an Off-Broadway theatrical production.
[The Guardian] [Reuters] [Photo courtesy WGNO-ABC via New York Daily News]