Trump campaign says it did not invite Gennifer Flowers to Monday's debate

Gennifer Flowers speaks to the press about her claim of a 12-year affair with then-Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Clinton during a news conference in New York Jan. 27, 1992.

AP

Donald Trump’s campaign has not invited Gennifer Flowers, the woman who said she had an affair with former President Bill Clinton before he took office in 1992, to attend the first debate in New York Monday night.

Both vice presidential candidate Mike Pence and Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said on separate shows Sunday morning that Trump had not seriously extended an invitation to Flowers.

“Gennifer Flowers will not be attending the debate tomorrow night,” Pence told Fox News Sunday.

The entire issue arose after Trump tweeted about Flowers on Saturday, in response to the news that Clinton’s campaign had issued a front-row invitation to billionaire investor Mark Cuban:

Flowers, via Twitter and a spokeswoman, responded that she’d be happy to attend.

What Trump was doing in his tweet, Pence said, was “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 on the choice that we face.”

Conway echoed Pence on ABC’s “This Week.” “She has not been invited by the campaign,” she said. “She has a right to be there if somebody else gives her a ticket.”

Clinton’s campaign released a statement about the incident Saturday, saying Trump’s tweet abut Flowers is proof of how easily provoked he is.

“Hillary Clinton plans on using the debate to discuss the issues that make a difference in people’s lives,” Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri said. “It’s not surprising that Donald Trump has chosen a different path.”

  • Emily Schultheis

    Emily Schultheis is a reporter/editor for CBS News Digital.