Alicia Machado has some things to say about the man who called her ‘Miss Piggy.’
Near the end of the first presidential debate on Monday night, Hillary Clinton brought up Donald Trump’s sexist attitude toward women – something that’s been obvious pretty much anytime he opens his mouth.
“This is a man who has called women pigs, slobs and dogs, and someone who has said pregnancy is an inconvenience to employers, who has said women don’t deserve equal pay unless they do as good a job as men,” said Clinton. “And 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.”
The woman in question, Alicia Machado, was crowned Miss Universe in 1996 when she was just 19 years old. The Venezuelan beauty has now become a US citizen and has been campaigning for Clinton over the past several months.
After the debate, Machado spoke to reporters in a phone interview arranged by the Clinton campaign. “Last night I was with my family, with my mom and with my daughter, we were watching the debate and you know, I was really surprised,” she said in Spanish. “I started crying because I never imagined that such an important person like her would care about my story, know about my story.”
On Anderson Cooper’s AC360, Machado told Cooper that Trump “was really aggressive. He was really rude. He was a bad person with me. That is the story that I need to share with my community.” She said she knows Trump “very well” and that “I can see the same person that I met 20 years ago.”
Trump, who was an executive producer of the Miss Universe pageant when Machado won her title, tried to defend himself on Fox and Friends the morning after the debate. “She was the winner and you know, she gained a massive amount of weight and it was a real problem. We had a real problem,” Trump told the show’s anchors.
Trump was clearly taken by surprise when Clinton brought Machado up during the debate, repeatedly asking “where did you find this?”
But on Fox and Friends, he tried to shrug it off. “Hillary went back into the years and she found this girl … and talked about her like she was Mother Theresa. And it wasn’t quite that way but that’s okay. Hillary has to do what she has to do.”
The day after the debate, the Clinton campaign released a new ad, starring Machado:
Images via Miguel Campos and Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com.