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The lead-up to the final debate is a circus, because Donald Trump is losing badly.

John Moore/Getty

It began on Tuesday, when it was announced that Barack Obama’s estranged half-brother Malik Obama will be attending the debate as Trump’s guest. Why? No one really knows. It’s possible that Trump has decided that he is still a birther after all, and that the Kenyan-born Malik is a kind of gesture in that direction. But it’s also likely that Trump thinks of Malik’s presence as “punishment” for the sustained and effective attacks that Barack Obama has launched from the campaign trail.

The ratfucking continued on Wednesday. It was announced that Leslie Milwee, a former Arkansas television reporter who told Breitbart that Bill Clinton groped her on multiple occasions in the 1980s, will also be attending the debate as Trump’s guest. Danney Williams, who claims without evidence that Bill Clinton is his biological father, announced he will be filing a paternity suit against Clinton. And just three hours before the debate, two more guests were announced: George Wallace Junior Fan Club President James O’Keefe and malfunctioning Trump prototype Sarah Palin.

What is the point of all of this? Trump may be trying to get into Hillary Clinton’s head, or he may be trying to send a message to voters (and the rest of the GOP) that his campaign is truly anti-establishment. Or—and this may be the most likely explanation—the Trump campaign sees grabbing headlines for the sake of grabbing headlines as a worthwhile end in and of itself. You don’t get attention for inviting Jeff Sessions to a debate, but you do for inviting Leslie Milwee. But more likely than not, there is no method at all: Operation Chaos has been in full effect for weeks now.