Donald Trump fired back at former Miss Universe Alicia Machado and her claims against him saying he had saved her from being fired nearly 20 years ago.
Machado was thrust into the election spotlight when Hillary Clinton referred to her during Monday’s presidential debate, blasting Trump for allegedly calling the 1996 Miss Universe winner “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping” at the time. Trump believes the move by Clinton was a “cheap shot” and may end up working against her.
“This is a person … she did not do well,” Trump told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly on “The O’Reilly Factor” Wednesday. “She had a lot of difficulties and, you know, they wanted to fire her … The company itself wanted to fire her. I saved her job … I said, ‘Don’t do that. Let her try and lose the weight.'”
“I saved her job, because I said [firing her was] going to be ruinous and I’ve done that with a number of the young ladies, where I save their job,” Trump said. “And look what I get out of it. I get nothing.”
The Venezuelan beauty queen made the talk show rounds following the debate, criticizing the billionaire businessman of shaming her and causing her to suffer from eating disorders at the time. She defended those claims to Fox News’ Megyn Kelly who called her out on some of the allegations she was making.
“She was the worst we ever had. The worst, the absolute worst,” Trump said on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday morning. “She gained a massive amount of weight and it was a real problem. We had a real problem. Not only that, her attitude.”
Trump’s alleged name-calling of Machado has not been proven, and a video from 1997 which surfaced showed Trump complimenting the beauty queen and being critical of his own weight in front of reporters.
“I hardly know this person,” the Republican presidential nominee told O’Reilly. “If you added up all the times I spoke to her, it’d probably be less than five minutes.”
Trump did not directly comment on the negative reports on Machado’s own past, including a claim by a judge in Venezuela that she had tried to kill him years ago. “I’m not going to say anything,” Trump said. “A lot of things are coming out that I wasn’t aware of.”
Ultimately, the Miss Universe pageant – like any other pageant – is a contest based on appearance.
“It is a beauty contest,” Trump told O’Reilly. “Say what you want, I mean they know what they’re getting into. It’s a beauty contest.”
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