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Gennifer Flowers the former mistress of  President Clinton, stands on a book ladder in the Gladstone room at the Oxford Union, Oxford England, Friday, Feb. 19, 1999. The Oxford Union is the student debating chamber for Oxford University. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Why Donald Trump threatened to bring Bill Clinton's former lover to Monday's debate

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Rumors that Gennifer Flowers, whose lengthy affair with Bill Clinton marred his 1992 presidential campaign, would be in the audience for the first presidential debate to support Donald Trump on Monday turned out to be false.

However, Trump started those rumors about the former actress and model. They were only quashed after vice presidential nominee Mike Pence and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway publicly denied them on Sunday.

Wait, what?

Time for some context.

On Thursday, Dallas Mavericks owner and outspoken Trump critic Mark Cuban announced he had been offered a front-row seat for Monday's debate at Hofstra University in New York.

Here's Cuban's initial announcement.

Trump responded to this on Saturday.

Why Donald Trump threatened to invite Bill Clinton's former lover to Monday's debate

On Sunday, Conway said Flowers was not invited. She said Trump was putting Hillary Clinton's camp "on notice" that he could also invite guests to psych out his opponent.

"He wants to remind people that he's a great counterpuncher," she told ABC.

She also implied the Clinton campaign was responsible for the story in the first place.

But Flowers herself tweeted that she would be in attendance.

She could still attend as a "paying member of the public," Conway said.

But Pence said Flowers wouldn't attend at all.

It's a warning sign before the debate has even started about [Trump's] bullying tactics that make him unfit to be president.
Robby Mook, Clinton campaign manager

So how did Team Clinton respond?

Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook blasted Trump over the incident.

Why Donald Trump threatened to invite Bill Clinton's former lover to Monday's debate

Mook also expressed concern that Trump would be "graded on a curve."

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