Donald Trump walked further into controversy Friday when he posted a series of tweets calling former Miss Universe Alicia Machado “disgusting” and encouraging his followers to watch her alleged sex tape. The Republican U.S. presidential candidate had come under fire for his misogynistic treatment of women after Monday’s first presidential debate.
Trump even speculated in his string of tweets that his rival ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may have had something to do with Machado becoming a U.S. citizen just so Clinton could use her in Monday’s debate.
The Clinton campaign responded to the tweetstorm calling the attacks “unhinged.”
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders also commented on Trump’s latest attack on Machado.
Machado who won the Miss Universe pageant in 1996 said that the real estate mogul who used to own the pageant called her “Ms Piggy” after she gained weight. He also poked fun of her Latino heritage calling her “Ms Housekeeping.” Machado said later that she was diagnosed with eating disorders.
Clinton highlighted her case during the presidential debates to show the audience Trump’s treatment of women.
The New York Times reported that fact-checkers have found no evidence to support Trump’s claim of an Alicia Machado sex tape. The Venezuela-born actress once posed topless for Playboy magazine in Mexico and was briefly part of a racy but censored scene in a reality TV show.
Trump’s attacks on Machado have ruffled the feathers of several Republicans. Ari Fleischer, a former White House press secretary, asked Trump to focus on his opponent Clinton and no one else.
Machado responded to the attacks saying they were false and a distraction from the Trump campaign’s real problems. “I will continue to stand on my feet, sharing my story and my absolute support for Secretary Clinton,” she said. “I will not be bullied or silenced. I'm standing with women and the Latino community everywhere.”
Adult website Pornhub said Friday that post Monday’s debate, searchers for Machado jumped by 3,029 percent. Machado was the most searched for person and the fifth most popular search term on Pornhub on Sept. 28.