In Post-Debate Interview, Trump Again Criticizes Pageant-Winner’s Weight
At the end of Monday night’s presidential debate, Hillary Clinton accused Donald Trump of taunting one of his former Miss Universe contestants about her weight.
Clinton said the Republican nominee’s criticisms of Alicia Machado, a Venezuelan who won the Miss Universe contest in 1996, was “one of the worst things he said” about women. “He called this woman Miss Piggy. Then he called her Miss Housekeeping because she was Latina.”
While Trump appeared to dispute Clinton’s accusation on the debate stage, he called into Fox and Friends Tuesday morning and once again called Machado fat.
“I know that person. That person was a Miss Universe person,” Trump told the Fox News morning show. “And she was the worst we ever had, the worst, the absolute worst, she was impossible,” he said. “She gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem. We had a real problem. Not only that, her attitude.”
With his past statements about Machado playing into critiques Clinton wanted to make at Monday night’s high-profile debate, the Clinton campaign was quick to pounce. An hour after the debate ended, her campaign tweeted a two-minute video about Machado’s experience with Trump.
“He was very overwhelming. I was very scared of him,” she says in Spanish. “He’d yell at me all the time. He’d tell me ‘you look ugly’ or ‘you look fat.’ Sometimes he’d ‘play’ with me and say ‘Hello Miss Piggy, hello Miss Housekeeping.’ ”
Donald Trump called her "Miss Piggy" and "Miss Housekeeping."
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 27, 2016
The Clinton campaign’s video also includes archived footage of Trump telling reporters “she weighed 118 pounds, or 117 pounds, and she went up to 160 or 170. So this is somebody who likes to eat.”
Articles at the time confirm Trump’s comments.
- In 1997, Donald Trump told Howard Stern that Machado was an “eating machine” who “ate a lot of everything.” “You whipped this fat slob into shape,” the radio host told Trump. “I don’t know how you did it. I see all these diet plans, everything else. God bless you.” When asked if Trump had “gotten her down to 118,” he said she is going to be there soon.
- Around the same time, Trump told Newsweek: “We’ve tried diet, spa, a trainer, incentives. Forget it, the way she’s going, she’d eat the whole gymnasium.”
- Machado told the Washington Post at the time she was caught by surprise about reporters being present. “I asked him to please send me to a trainer or a nutritionist or something because I needed some orientation, and he sends me to a gym in New York,” she said. “When I get there, there are 80 reporters waiting to watch me sweat. I thought that was in very bad taste.”
- Donald Trump wrote in his 1997 book Art of the Comeback, “I could just see Alicia Machado, the current Miss Universe, sitting there plumply. God, what problems I had with this woman. First, she wins. Second, she gains 50 pounds. Third, I urge the committee not to fire her. Fourth, I go to the gym with her, in a show of support. Final act: She trashes me in The Washington Post — after I stood by her the entire time. What’s wrong with this picture? Anyway, the best part about the evening was the knowledge that next year, she would no longer be Miss Universe.”
Machado told the campaign that the experience led to long-term eating disorders. “I wouldn’t eat, and I would still see myself as fat, because a powerful man had said so.”
“He always treated me like a little thing. He always treated me like trash,” Machado said Tuesday in a conference call organized by the Clinton campaign.
She said she was caught off-guard when Clinton talked about her Monday night. “I started to cry because I never imagined that someone so important would care about my story,” she said, speaking in Spanish.
“I’m very sorry that I might be an uncomfortable person for Mr. Trump,” Machado said, “but that’s how things happen, that’s how things go.”
"She gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem." —Trump just defended his attacks on Fmr. Miss Universe Alicia Machado. pic.twitter.com/HbVtaBpK3R
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 27, 2016