Donald Trump invites Obama's estranged half-brother and mother of slain Benghazi official to 3rd presidential debate

Mr Malik Obama, half-brother of US President Barack Obama, speaks during an interview with Reuters.
Mr Malik Obama, half-brother of US President Barack Obama, speaks during an interview with Reuters.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (WASHINGTON POST) - Billionaire Donald Trump has invited two eyebrow-raising guests to Wednesday's (Oct 19) presidential debate against Democrat rival Hillary Clinton: United States President Barack Obama's estranged half-brother and the mother of an American official who died in Benghazi, Libya.

Mr Malik Obama, the president's half-brother, will be in Las Vegas on Wednesday for the third and final presidential debate - supporting Mr Trump, whom the President has widely criticised.

Ms Pat Smith, whose son Sean died in the 2012 attack on a diplomatic compound in Benghazi, will also be in attendance. Ms Smith has been a vocal critic of Mrs Clinton and delivered a speech at the Republican National Convention in July. Republicans have blamed Mrs Clinton for the tragic deaths of four American in Benghazi, though several congressional investigations have not found any evidence of it.

A senior campaign staff member confirmed that Mr Obama and Ms Smith would attend the debate. More surprise guests may be disclosed by the campaign on Wednesday.

Mr Trump shocked reporters and political observers last week in St. Louis when, hours before the second debate, he held a press conference with several women who had accused former president Bill Clinton of sexual abuse. The Clintons have long denied the accusations.

The Trump campaign had also sought to embarrass and distract Mrs Clinton and her husband by inviting several of the women to sit in the family box near the debate stage. That plan was ultimately barred by officials at the Commission on Presidential Debates.