Trump loses grounds for remarks against Alicia Machado

Republican nominee refutes allegations of his history with former Miss Universe


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Donald Trump and former Miss Universe Alicia Machado when they met with reporters in 1997.

While America slept, Donald Trump was busy doing what he does best: shooting himself in the foot.

Around 3 a.m. Friday morning, Trump released a stream of tweets warning Americans not to trust ambiguous sources, “Crooked Hillary” or Alicia Machado, the most recent bump along Trump’s campaign trail.

Machado was a former Miss Universe winner, and she was referenced by Hillary Clinton during the first presidential debate Monday, Sept. 26, in response to Trump’s critique of Clinton’s lack of stamina and a presidential ‘look.’

“He tried to switch from looks to stamina, but this is a man who has called women pigs, slobs and dogs,” Clinton said of the Republican nominee, going on to say Trump called Machado names like “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping.”

In a recently released video by the Clinton campaign, Machado said she was terrified of Trump, who owned the Miss Universe pageant at the time of her win in 1996. She said that Trump was verbally abusive and even forced her to work out in front of reporters.

Why did he order these measures? Because following her Miss Universe title, Machado gained some weight.

Trump fell hook, line and sinker into a trap expertly crafted by Clinton. When provoked, Trump cannot resist getting in the last word, and he has spent the past week rehashing the incident.

The morning following the debate, Trump appeared on Fox & Friends. Without being prompted, Trump brought up Machado, attempting to clear his good name.

“You know she (Machado) gained a massive amount of weight and it was a real problem,” Trump said. “So Hillary went back through the years and found the girl and talked about her like she was Mother Teresa.”

As the Fox & Friends anchors’ faces fell, so did our jaws. Trump had one job: to not bring up Machado. But he even went a step further with his late-night Twitter spree later that week. Trump called Machado “disgusting,” “a con” and his “worst Miss U.” He also asked his followers to find an alleged sex tape of Machado to prove that she is not an “angel.”

However, it seemed Trump’s video allegations were false. Vanity Fair reported that Trump appeared to be referring to a video of Machado hooking up with a fellow contestant on La Granja, a Spanish-language reality television show.

But, as Trump warned on Twitter, “if they don’t name the sources, the sources don’t exist.” Unless that source is Trump himself, of course.

Machado is also under scrutiny from the Trump campaign for purportedly driving the getaway car in an attempted murder by her boyfriend in November 1997, according to the PolitiFact website. The charges against her were dropped, but the judge claimed that Machado threatened his life.

Machado responded to Trump’s allegations via Twitter.

“Through his attacks, he’s attempting to distract from his campaign’s real problems and his inability to be the leader of this great country,” Machado tweeted.

In addition, Machado said in an interview with The New York Times that she struggled with anorexia and mental illness for years afterward because of her humiliation at Trump’s hand

Five weeks before Election Day, Clinton couldn’t have asked for a better distraction for Trump’s campaign. All she had to do was prepare the bait and wait for Trump to snatch it up. His reaction was everything Clinton dreamed it would be, and she pounced on the opportunity.

“What kind of man stays up all night to smear a woman with lies and conspiracy theories?” Clinton tweeted later on Friday.  

“When something gets under Donald’s thin skin, he lashes out and can’t let go,” she said in another tweet. “This is dangerous for a president.”

Obviously, Machado should not be Trump’s primary concern at this point in the race, but proof of Trump’s oversensitivity could be seen in his recent interview with The New York Times. Trump said that he is planning on bringing Bill Clinton’s marital unfaithfulness to the forefront of the debate.

The 2016 presidential race has focused more on questions of morality, personality and scandals than policy. No one expected a clean first debate, but one so devoid of any real discussion on issues like foreign affairs or the economy was a shock.

Instead, we got a stream of Trump one-liners and zingers while Clinton lazily deflected his attacks with smirks and shimmies.

Machado’s story is just one among a seemingly endless line of tales about Trump’s misogyny. His reaction to the allegations was the best gift he could have given Clinton, but he’s ready to fire back. Voters should prepare themselves for a race that’s about to get a lot more personal. As Trump said in his New York Times Interview:

“She’s nasty, but I can be nastier than she ever can be.”