The Slatest

Steve Bannon Reportedly Says Malik Obama “Just the Appetizer” for Wednesday Night’s Debate. Ugh.

President Barack Obama’s Kenyan half-brother Malik Obama gives an interview at the peaceful hamlet of Nyang’oma in Kogelo renowned as the Obamas’ traditional home.

Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images

According to CNN’s Brian Stelter, Obama’s Trump-supporting half-brother Malik won’t be the only bizarre guest the Trump camp will be bringing to Wednesday night’s debate. Stelter said this morning that Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon told him Malik Obama would be “just an appetizer” and that surprise attendees from Hillary and Bill Clinton’s pasts are also set to appear.

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Malik’s debate cameo was announced Tuesday. “I look very much forward to meeting and being with Malik,” Trump told the New York Post. “He gets it far better than his brother.”

It’s worth asking whether Trump believes Israel policy is among the things Malik “gets.” According to Tablet magazine senior writer Yair Rosenberg, Malik has openly supported Hamas.

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It’s also worth asking how Malik’s appearance will in any way rattle the Clintons, who are not the Obamas. Anyway: Wednesday’s hubbub comes after a report from the New York Times on Tuesday that Clinton’s team has asked the Commission on Presidential Debates to dispense with the traditional pre-debate handshakes between the candidates’ families and guests tonight. At the last debate, the Trump campaign had planned on using that window of time to have Bill Clinton accusers Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick, and Kathleen Willey confront the Clinton family before the commission intervened.

If Trump does indeed dredge up more guests like this Wednesday night, it will only prove what we’ve suspected since last week: He’s now far more interested in embarrassing his enemies than actually trying to win this thing. “Trump,” our own Elliot Hannon wrote Tuesday, “is now 100 percent focused on collecting as many sick burns as he can before Nov. 8.’”

Read more Slate coverage of the 2016 campaign.

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