Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Why is Donald Trump bringing President Obama’s half-brother to the presidential debate in Las Vegas?
White House press secretary Josh Earnest says he doesn’t understand the intent behind the Trump campaign’s invitation to Malik Obama to attend Wednesday night’s debate in Sin City.
“I have to admit, I really don’t know exactly what the intent is of this invitation other than probably to get you guys to ask me about it,” Earnest said. “But even then, I’m not really sure what goal that accomplishes.”
“I guess you can check with the people who offered the invitation,” he added.
Malik Obama, who is a U.S. citizen and lives in the Washington, D.C., metro area when he’s not in Kenya, is flying to Las Vegas to attend the debate in support of Trump, a trip paid for by the Trump campaign.
Earnest said he has not spoken to the president about the debate invitation.
“I don’t anticipate that the president has spent a lot of time considering whether or not his brother-in-law [sic] should attend the debate,” Earnest said. “If he does choose to attend, hopefully, he’ll do something more fun than just attend the debate.”
Asked to describe the half-brothers’ relationship, Earnest said his understanding “is that there’s not much of one.”
He was not sure of the last time the Obamas spoke to each other.
Earnest also said he didn’t think the invitation is a “subtle echo” to the birther controversy.
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