'Miss Piggy' Pageant Winner Becomes Clinton Weapon

Campaign rolls out ad with Alicia Machado
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2016 7:50 AM CDT
'Miss Piggy' Pageant Winner Becomes Clinton Weapon
In this 1996 file photo, the new Miss Universe Alicia Machado of Venezuela is crowned.   (AP Photo/Eric Draper, File)

Debate watchers were introduced to an unfamiliar name Monday night, that of Alicia Machado. As NBC explains, she won the Miss Universe Pageant in 1996 while representing Venezuela, a pageant owned by Donald Trump at the time. Hillary Clinton brought it up to highlight Trump's treatment of women: "One of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest—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. Donald, she has a name. Her name—" at this point, Trump tried to interject, but Clinton went on—"is Alicia Machado. And she has become a US citizen. ... And you can bet she's going to vote this November."

The Clinton camp then rolled out an ad after the debate in which Machado backs up the allegations. She had previously spoken about what she views as Trump's bullying of her to Inside Edition, and Trump has acknowledged to the New York Times that he pressured her to lose weight. "To that, I will plead guilty," he said. The GOP candidate defended his actions on Fox News Tuesday morning, saying, "She gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem," reports Time. (More on that interview here.) Machado, now 39, said the pressure made her anxious and sick with eating disorders for years. At Slate, Jeremy Stahl calls it one of Clinton's best moments in the debate, one that "clearly rattled Trump." (More Donald Trump 2016 stories.)

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