Republican nominee Donald Trump on Tuesday responded to a line of attack from Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton — who said during Monday's debate that Trump once called 1996 Miss Universe winner Alicia Machado "Miss Piggy" — by pointing out that the pageant winner had "gained a massive amount of weight." Trump, from 1996 to 2015, owned a part of or all of the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA beauty pageants.
Trump's comments came during a morning interview with Fox News' "Fox and Friends" when the billionaire businessman mentioned Machado after the Fox hosts questioned if Clinton was able to get under his skin at any time during the debate.
"No, not at all. I didn’t see it that way," Trump said. "At the end, maybe, the very last question, when she brought up the person that became — I know that person, that person was a Miss Universe person, and she was the worst we ever had. The worst, the absolute worst."
"She was the winner, and, you know, she gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem," he added. "We had a real problem. Not only that, her attitude, and we had a real problem with her."
Toward the end of Monday's debate, Clinton claimed of Trump, "He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them — and he called this woman 'Miss Piggy,' then he called her 'Miss Housekeeping' because she was Latina."
The Clinton campaign compounded their line of attack on Trump one hour after the debate, releasing a two-minute video ad featuring Machado.
The ad features an archived clip of Trump from the 1990s 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," referring to Machado.
"He was very overwhelming. I was very scared of him," Machado, a Venezuelan, says in the ad. "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.'"
That experience with Trump, Machado said, led to a difficult struggle with eating disorders.
"I wouldn't eat, and I would still see myself as fat, because a powerful man had said so," she said.
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