The Los Angeles Times
Donald Trump resumed his attack on a beauty pageant winner he had criticized for gaining weight, saying she had “a lot of difficulties” as Miss Universe and that now “a lot of things are coming out about her.”
Alicia Machado, who won the beauty contest in 1996, has emerged as a symbol of what critics of the Republican presidential nominee view as his misogyny. Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, rattled him in Monday’s debate by reminding him that he’d called Machado “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping.”
In a Fox News interview Wednesday evening, Trump, who owned the pageant when Machado won, said she was an unsuccessful beauty queen.
“She did not do well,” Trump told anchor Bill O’Reilly. “She had a lot of difficulties.”
Managers of the Miss Universe pageant wanted to fire Machado for putting on what Trump described Tuesday as “a massive amount of weight.” Trump said he preferred to “let her try and lose weight.”
During the year she presided as Miss Universe, Trump turned Machado’s weight gain into a media spectacle, inviting news cameras to record her – against her will – working out at a gym.
On Tuesday, Trump said Machado, a Venezuelan immigrant, was no “Mother Teresa.” On Wednesday, he stepped up his attack on her character.
“They say she threatened the life of a judge,” he told Fox News.
According to PolitiFact, a Tampa Bay Times fact-checking site, a Venezuelan judge once said that Machado threatened his career and life over her boyfriend’s indictment for attempted murder. She denied it, and nothing came of the accusation, PolitiFact reported.
Machado was charged as an accomplice in the attempted murder for allegedly driving her boyfriend from the scene of the shooting, but the charges were dropped.
Machado, now an actress, has sharply criticized Trump this week in interviews, saying he humiliated her. She has also appeared in a Clinton campaign video attacking Trump for the way he treated her.