LAS VEGAS — Well this is awkward.
President Obama’s half-brother Malik Obama will be at Wednesday night’s debate — as Donald Trump’s guest.
Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway was asked on MSNBC how inviting Obama’s half-brother had to do with the issues.
“He wanted to come and we're happy to give him a ticket,” Conway said. “We’re happy to invite him.”
MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle pressed further asking if the campaign was friends with him.
“I'm not personally friends with him,” Conway responded. “But we're very inclusive.”
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday that he hadn’t talked to the president about his half brother, and couldn’t say much about their relationship. “My understanding is that there’s not much of one.”
“I don’t know the last time they spoke," he added later.
And Earnest said he didn’t think the invitation was some kind of subtle reference to the “birther” controversy, in which Trump alleged for years that Obama wasn’t born in the United States and therefore his presidency is illegitimate.
“I have to admit I don’t know exactly what the intent of this invitation is, other than to get you guys to ask me about it,” Earnest said. “Even then, I'm not sure what goal this advances.”
This isn’t the first time a guest list has been used to get under the other team’s skin. Last week Trump brought four women who have accused the Clintons of sexual misconduct and character assassination to sit in the audience at the debate.
And Clinton has invited billionaire Mark Cuban and Meg Whitman, the former finance chair of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and Republican nominee for governor of California.
Cuban is already starting to try and get under Trump’s skin.
Cant wait to give a big hug to my bestie @realDonaldTrump at the debate tomorrow night. I know you miss me !— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) October 18, 2016