Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump encouraged people on Sept. 30 to watch an alleged sex tape featuring former Miss Universe Alicia Machado.
"Did Crooked Hillary help disgusting (check out sex tape and past) Alicia M become a U.S. citizen so she could use her in the debate?" he said in a tweet.
PEOPLE notes that Trump's "sex tape" tweet apparently refers to a 2005 clip of Machado fully clothed on a bed with a male contestant on a Spanish language reality TV show.
In response, Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany asserted on CNN that Trump should not be bringing up sordid rumors, but that his surrogates should, notes RawStory.com:
I understand his inclination to want to bring this up. He’s been accused of saying these horrible things about her. It’s important to look into this lady’s past. Go on CNN Espanol, and you’ll find an article on how a witness accused her of having a child with a drug lord. On her own airwaves, she was asked about threatening the life of (a Venezuelan judge), and she said, well that was 20 years ago...
I think when Hillary Clinton brings this up and presents her words as fact, that is to say Miss Universe’s words as fact, it’s important for Donald Trump to explain his side of the argument. That being said, I think surrogates can do that, I don’t think Donald Trump needs to be doing that in interviews and via Twitter.
Over on MSNBC, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, a Trump surrogate, tried to blame Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for Trump's sex tape tweet, twice, reports RawStory.com:
It’s unfortunate that this issue was raised by Secretary Clinton during Monday night’s debate. She’s the one that jumped off in the ditch, bringing back comments from the ’90s. So it’s unfortunate that it turned to that, rather than turning to jobs and the economy and national security. So while it's not helpful for the American public talking about these issues, I think Hillary Clinton took us here.
As a matter of record, Clinton brought up Machado becoming an American citizen and Trump's degrading remarks about Machado, but Clinton never once mentioned any alleged sex tape.
Rutledge was asked a second time about Trump's sex tape tweet and again tried to blame it on Clinton:
Well, again, Secretary Clinton is the one that jumped off in this ditch, Stephanie, and it was not Donald Trump. Donald Trump was responding, again. We have seen, for the past several months, that he has been focused on talking about jobs and the economy, bringing back jobs to the inner cities of America.
When asked a third time about Trump's sex tape remark, Rutledge replied: "Well, I am a fan of tweeting during waking hours of most folks. So I’m not up tweeting at 3 a.m. generally, so I don’t know if that’s great advice, but perhaps there are people who are interested in other issues at 3 a.m."