Update: After the Trump campaign declined to comment on Flowers all day Saturday, it said Sunday morning that she would not be not actually be at the debate.
Mike Pence just told Chris Wallace that Gennifer Flowers will not be attending tomorrow night's debate.
— Brit Hume (@brithume) September 25, 2016
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) September 25, 2016
Gennifer Flowers, who revealed a sexual relationship with Bill Clinton in the 1990s, is saying she will attend Monday night's debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as Trump's guest.
Wow! Gennifer Flowers has agreed to join Trump for the debate. Her assistant tells me.
— andrew kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) September 24, 2016
The decision was the latest play in a bizarre bit of gamesmanship between the Clinton and Trump campaigns over the debate. Clinton's camp confirmed this week that it would invite billionaire mogul Mark Cuban, a Trump antagonist, to the debate.
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) September 23, 2016
The two billionaires, who have both been reality show stars and larger-than-life personas, have feuded regularly in recent years. At a July campaign stop for Clinton, Cuban called Trump "bats--- crazy."
On Saturday, he taunted Trump on Twitter:
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) September 24, 2016
It's not totally clear that Trump has actually invited Flowers, but he did hint at it as a possibility early Saturday afternoon -- before Flowers said she would attend.
He tweeted that he might seat her alongside Cuban -- first in a tweet that misspelled her name as "Jennifer," which was deleted within minutes, quickly followed by a repeat. Both tweets also mentioned Cuban's "Apprentice"-like TV show, "The Benefactor," which was quickly canceled in 2004.
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
Despite the confirmations from Flowers and her assistant, the Trump campaign still has yet to say whether he will actually bring her to the debate -- a move that would certainly add a subplot (if not a sideshow) to the highly anticipated proceedings.
Clinton spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri responded to the news late Saturday: "Hillary Clinton plans on using the debate to discuss the issues that make a difference in people's lives. It’s not surprising that Donald Trump has chosen a different path."
It also remains to be seen whether the Commission on Presidential Debates, which organizes the debates, would allow either Cuban or Flowers to sit in the front row. Commission co-chairman Frank Fahrenkopf told CNN on Saturday, before the Flowers news, that attempts to distract the candidates with guests will be discouraged.
"We are going to frown upon -- I will tell you this right now -- whether or not a Republican or Democrat or anyone else attempts by use of tickets in placing people in a front row or not to try to impact the debate. It is wrong," Fahrenkopf said. "We would frown upon Mr. Cuban being in the front row if his purpose is to somehow disrupt the debate; likewise, if Mr. Trump was going to put someone in the front row to try and impact things."
Flowers said during Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign that the two of them had engaged in a lengthy affair over a dozen years. The allegation, which Clinton denied at the time, threatened to ruin his campaign.
In 1998, Bill Clinton acknowledged under oath having a sexual encounter with Flowers, though he disputed details of her account.