Republican nominee Donald Trump took to Twitter late at night to blast Alicia Machado, the former Miss Universe who has accused him of bullying her. The business mogul told his social media followers to look up an alleged sex tape featuring Machado.
In the early hours of Sept. 30, Trump began an extended tweet storm, urging his supporters to disregard unflattering news stories about him.
“Anytime you see a story about me or my campaign say ‘sources said,’ DO NOT believe it,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “There are no sources, they are just made up lies!”
The GOP nominee then proceeded to blast Machado, who had accused him of shaming her about her weight and using sexist and racist names against her.
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“Wow, Crooked Hillary was duped and used by my worst Miss U,” Trump tweeted. “Hillary floated her as an ‘angel’ without checking her past, which is terrible!”
On Sept. 26, during the first presidential debate, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had slammed Trump for his history of remarks towards women, citing Machado.
“This is a man who has called women pigs, slobs, and dogs ... And one of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest ... he called this woman ‘Miss Piggy,’” Clinton said, according to CNN.
“Then he called her ‘Ms. Housekeeping,’ because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name. Her name is Alicia Machado. And she has become a U.S. citizen, and you can bet she’s going to vote this November.”
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That same night, the Clinton campaign released an ad featuring Machado recounting how Trump had bullied her and had even invited the press to one of her workout sessions to shame her about her weight, Vox reports.
On Sept. 27, Trump refused to apologize to Machado, stating that he had had a legitimate issue with her weight.
“She gained a massive amount of weight,” Trump told Fox News. “It was a real problem. We had a real problem.”
On his Twitter account, Trump continued to blast Clinton for referencing Machado during the debate.
“Using Alicia M in the debate as a paragon of virtue just shows that Crooked Hillary suffers from BAD JUDGMENT!” Trump tweeted. “Hillary was set up by a con.”
The former owner of the Miss Universe pageant then concluded with, “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?”
There is no evidence Machado ever appeared in a sex tape or that the Clinton campaign had any role in her acquiring citizenship, according to The New York Times.
“This is ... unhinged, even for Trump,” Clinton responded on Twitter. “What kind of man stays up all night to smear a woman with lies and conspiracy theories.”
Machado took to her Instagram to respond to Trump's tweets.
“Through his campaign of hate, the Republican candidate insists on discrediting and demoralizing a woman,” Machado wrote. “This is definitely one of his most frightening characteristics. With this, he’s taking attention away from his real problems and his inability to pretend to be the leader of a great country.”