Donald Trump went on an early morning Twitter rant on Friday, taking aim once again at former Miss Universe Alicia Machado and imploring his followers to watch her “sex tape.”
The Republican White House hopeful said Machado “duped and used” his opponent, Hillary Clinton, who had referred to the pageant winner at this week’s presidential debate as an example of a woman who Trump has objectified and denigrated.
Trump allegedly once referred to Machado as “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping” after she was crowned in 1996, when Trump was running the pageant.
The tweetstorm began at 3:20 a.m. when Trump wrote, “Anytime you see a story about me or my campaign saying "sources said," DO NOT believe it. There are no sources, they are just made up lies!”
Then, at 5:14 a.m.: “Wow, Crooked Hillary was duped and used by my worst Miss U. Hillary floated her as an "angel" without checking her past, which is terrible!” Trump tweeted. He added, “Wow, Crooked Hillary was duped and used by my worst Miss U. Hillary floated her as an "angel" without checking her past, which is terrible!”
He then wrote, “Did Crooked Hillary help disgusting (check out sex tape and past) Alicia M become a U.S. citizen so she could use her in the debate?”
The purported "sex tape" appears to be a reference to reports about suggestive footage from Machado's time on a Spanish reality television show modeled on "Big Brother."
Since Monday night’s presidential debate, Trump supporters and right-leaning publications have tried to discredit Machado, pointing to reports claiming that in 1998 she drove a getaway car from a murder scene in Venezuela. CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked Machado about the allegation on Thursday night. Machado called the reports “speculation” and said Trump "can say whatever he wants to say, I don’t care. You know, I have my past. Of course—everybody has a past. I’m not a saint girl. But that is not the point now.”
Clinton referred to Trump’s sex tape tweet on Friday. “This is ... unhinged, even for Trump,” she said on Twitter, adding: “What kind of man stays up all night to smear a woman with lies and conspiracy theories?”
She added: “Alicia deserves praise for courageously standing up to Trump's attacks. And he has the gall to blame her—and say he ‘helped’?”
Other Democrats criticized Trump for taking to Twitter in the early morning hours.
“I'm almost @realDonaldTrump's age, so get the urge to get up in the middle of the night, but impt safety tip: don't reach for your phone,” tweeted John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman.
“People who stay up at 3 and 4 and 5 o’clock in the morning tweeting about sex tapes -- these are not normal people, and there is something the matter with him, and I don’t know what it is,” said former Vermont governor and former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean on MSNBC.
Machado has also responded on Instagram to Trump’s latest remarks. “The Republican candidate and his campaign team are once again generating attacks, insults and trying to revive defamation and false accusations about my life,” she wrote in Spanish. “…I will continue standing up and sharing my story, my absolute support to Mrs. Clinton…”