Republican candidate Donald Trump has attacked former beauty pageant winner Alicia Machado who criticized him for alleged sexist and misogynistic remarks as “disgusting”.
In a stream of tweets, Donald Trump urged Americans to examine Alicia Machado’s personal history and her “tape”.
Donald Trump implied rival candidate Hillary Clinton had secured US citizenship for Venezuelan-born Alicia Machado.
In response, Hillary Clinton tweeted: “This is unhinged, even for Trump.”
Alicia Machado says she was called “Miss Piggy” by Donald Trump when he owned the Miss Universe beauty pageant, after she put on weight after winning the title in 1996.
She also says Donald Trump called her “Miss Housekeeping” because of her Latina heritage.
Alicia Machado’s case was raised by Hillary Clinton in the first presidential debate earlier this week as an example of Donald Trump’s attitude to women.
In his early-morning Twitter outburst, Donald Trump said Alicia Machado had a “terrible” past that a “duped” Hillary Clinton had overlooked before holding her up “as an ‘angel'”.
The Republican added: “Did Crooked Hillary help disgusting (check out s** tape and past) Alicia M become a US citizen so she could use her in the debate?”
In her Twitter response, Hillary Clinton asked: “What kind of man stays up all night to smear a woman with lies and conspiracy theories?”
She added: “When something gets under Donald’s thin skin, he lashes out and can’t let go. This is dangerous for a president.”
According to the Associated Press, Donald Trump’s “s** tape” taunt appears to refer to footage from a Spanish reality show in 2005 in which Alicia Machado appeared on camera in bed with a male contestant. The grainy images were posted this week to a newspaper’s website.
In a statement on Instagram, Alicia Machado said: “The Republican candidate and his team are again generating attacks, insults and trying to resurrect false allegations on my life. Their purpose is to intimidate me, humiliate me and tip me off balance. The attacks are slanders and lies full of bad intentions, with no basis.
“With his hate campaign, the Republican candidate insists in discrediting and demoralizing a woman – one of his worse characteristics.”