In 1996, 19-year-old Alicia Machado won Miss Universe representing Venezuela. Trump had bought the pageant that year. In the months after winning her title, she gained weight—She says it was around 15 pounds, while Trump says it was 60 pounds. Rumors started swirling that she’d be forced to give up her title because of it. The pageant did not revoke her title, but Trump did push her to lose weight, CNN reports.
Machado spoke with Inside Edition in May, saying that Trump’s comments led to years of battling eating disorders. Trump called her an “eating machine” on Howard Stern’s radio show, took her to the gym ro make her work out in front of reporters, and called her “Miss Piggy” to her face.
During Monday night’s first presidential debate, Hillary Clinton brought Machado up as an example of the way Trump speaks about women. Trump interrupted, saying, "Where did you find this?" but his attacks on Machado are well-documented.
When he appeared on Fox and Friends on Tuesday morning, in response to a question about Clinton getting under his skin, he instead brought Machado and her weight up again, saying, “That person was a Miss Universe person, and she was the worst we ever had, the worst, the absolute worst.” He then went on to call her “massive” weight gain a “real problem," and did not deny calling her “Miss Piggy”, Vox reports.
"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
In The Art of the Comeback, which Trump wrote the year after the pageant, he said that the “best part” of the 1997 Miss Universe pageant was that Machado would no longer be Miss Universe.
— Matea Gold (@mateagold) September 27, 2016
Alicia Machado recently earned her US citizenship, and I think we can all guess who she won’t be voting for.
— Alicia Machado (@machadooficial) September 27, 2016