Donald Trump is still criticising a Miss Universe contestant over her weight

Mr Trump doubled down on his comments this morning

Justin Carissimo
New York
Wednesday 28 September 2016 04:43 BST
(Win McNamee/Getty, John Sciulli/Getty)

Donald Trump is still criticizing the weight of a Miss Universe contestant from Venezuela on Tuesday morning.

In the first presidential debate on Monday night, Hillary Clinton brought up Mr Trump’s past comments on 1996 Miss Universe winner Alicia Machado when he claimed she “gained a massive amount of weight” and was “the worst contestant” in the competition. She also brought up the nicknames he apparently called Ms Machado, who’s Latina—“Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping."

Ms Machado says she nearly lost her title after gaining 42 pounds in the months after the pageant. Mr Trump then called a fitness trainer to help her lose the weight. The exercise program was highly publicised as photographers and video crews followed her efforts to shed the weight.

This morning, Mr Trump, seemingly attempting to brush off one of his worst moments at the debate, responded to Ms Clinton’s criticism of the way he speaks about women by doubling down on his previous comments. “She was the winner and she gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem,” Mr Trump, who was the pageant’s executive producer, said during an appearance on Fox & Friends. “Not only that — her attitude. And we had a real problem with her.”

Ms Clinton also remained consistent with her attacks, telling reporters that her rival has offensive and off-putting views, “The real point is about temperament and fitness and qualification to hold the most important, hardest job in the world.”

On a press call with reporters Monday afternoon, Ms Machado, a newly registered voter who recently gained US citizenship, explained why she’s become a part of the Clinton campaign. “That debate was really clear because Ms Clinton is the right person. She has experience. She's a lawyer, she's a real successful person and she's preparing to be the next president."

“After the miss universe year," she continued. "I was trying to forget about the abuse and the moment with him because [the pageant] was the most amazing experience for me the people around me were amazing and lovely.”

She said that the way Mr Trump treated her caused her a lot of pain over the years. She said she wanted to turn her experience into activism and into power to fight for Latina women. She said that she wants to ensure people turn out to vote because the stakes are high for her community in this election.

“I’m here and I’m strong,” she said toward the end of the call. “I will be here 'til the end to support Hillary.”

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