Donald Trump threatened on Saturday to put Gennifer Flowers, a woman Bill Clinton said he had an affair with, in the front row of Monday’s debate as a direct result of Hillary Clinton’s campaign giving Mark Cuban a front-row seat at the titanic event.
“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,” he wrote on Twitter.
The Benefactor was a 2004 reality TV show starring Cuban, who is more widely known as the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and star of ABC’s “Shark Tank.”
Trump misspelled Flowers’ name in a prior tweet, later deleting it and replacing the tweet with the correct spelling.
Cuban fired back shortly after.
“Donald. Remember when you told me on the phone we were “Bobbsie Twins” and I laughed ? #truestory,” he quipped to Twitter.
Cuban, a Clinton supporter since he endorsed the Democratic nominee at a Pittsburgh rally in July, has ripped Trump repeatedly on social media and in interviews, calling him the most “dangerous” presidential candidate he can imagine during a recent interview with Business Insider. Cuban recently offered Trump $10 million to hold a four-hour policy debate with him.
After the Clinton campaign gifted Cuban with what they referred to as the best seat they had available for Monday’s debate, Cuban said he was ready for the former secretary of state to “overwhelm” her opponent at the looming political slugfest.
Trump recently addressed Cuban’s criticism in an interview with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo, insisting that Cuban tweets constantly at him and promising to show the host all of the messages.
The NBA owner is known for his courtside antics at Mavericks games, famously ripping referees for what he believes to be bad calls. That reputation led to CNN host Michael Smerconish asking Commission on Presidential Debates co-chair Frank Fahrenkopf during a Saturday morning interview about Cuban’s front-row presence.
“We’ll tell you this right now, whether or not a Republican or Democrat or anyone else attempts by use of the tickets in placing people in a front row or not to try to impact the debate — It’s wrong,” the debate co-chair said. “We would frown upon Mr. Cuban being in the front row if his purpose is to somehow disrupt the debates, likewise, if Mr. Trump were to put someone in the front row to try to impact things.”
“So, I’ve been working,” he continued. “We’ve been working with the campaigns staff. I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. They’re approaching this as a very dignified manner in the way I think it should be approached.”
Alan Dershowitz, professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, told CNN he thought the Clinton campaign’s decision to have Cuban in the front row was “a mistake.”
“Because first of all, it reaffirms the notion that Hillary Clinton is subordinate to millionaires and billionaires,” he said. “Second, if they wanted to surprise Donald Trump, we wouldn’t know about it. They would simply seat him in the front row moments before the debate began.”
“I see no upside, and substantial downside,” he said. “They’re being too cute. It will backfire.”
Earlier in the cycle, Cuban was more enthralled with the idea of a Trump presidency and had expressed interest in serving as either Trump or Clinton’s vice president before eventually souring on the Republican nominee’s candidacy.
“I mean you guys have been covering me for a long time,” Cuban told Business Insider in that recent interview. “I mean, I’ve historically been apolitical. You’ve never heard me talk about politics all that much. And it’s just, I can’t think of anybody more dangerous as president than Donald Trump.”
“I can’t think of anything worse than with him not having a clue,” he continued. “I mean, could you imagine somebody who doesn’t read and doesn’t learn trying to deal with the day-to-day changes and challenges of that job?”
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