At his second debate with Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump invited a trio of women who accuse Bill Clinton of sexual improprieties. This time, he’s invited Patricia Smith, whose son, Sean, was one of the State Department employees killed in the 2012 Benghazi, Libya attacks.
It’s his latest effort to rattle Clinton, whom Republicans have sought to blame for the attack in which four Americans died. It was Smith who delivered an impassioned speech at the Republican National Convention in July, saying she held the then-Secretary of State personally responsible for her son's death.
“Hillary Clinton is a woman, a mother and a grandmother of two. I am a woman, a mother and a grandmother of two,” Smith said at the convention. “How could she do this to me? How could she do this to any American family? Donald Trump is everything Hillary Clinton is not.”
Trump’s campaign asked Wednesday whether Clinton would apologize to Smith “for allowing her son to die in Benghazi.”
Clinton at the second debate made no reference to the women Trump had invited, including a woman who has accused Clinton of mishandling the case of a man who raped her, and it signaled that she will take the same approach tonight.
The attacks are a “resolved matter,” said communications director Jennifer Palmieri, who noted that there have been at least seven congressional investigations and that Clinton had testified before Congress for 11 hours.
“We think it’s a resolved issue in the voters’ minds,” Palmieri told reporters. Trump, she added, is “free to bring whoever he likes and comport himself however he chooses on the debate stage, but she’ll stay focused on what she needs to do."
Trump has also invited President Barack Obama’s Kenyan-born half-brother Malik, the New York Post reported.
Clinton is also doing her bit to needle Trump. She’s invited two billionaires who are supporting her: Meg Whitman, the Hewlett-Packard chief executive officer and a former Republican candidate for governor in California and Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, who has relentlessly criticized Trump.