Donald Trump's Tweets Reveal Alicia Machado Got Under His Skin

September 30th 2016

Tricia Tongco

America woke up to a first this morning: A presidential nominee telling the public to check out a woman's sex tape.

In the wee hours of the morning, Trump shared the following tweets.

These tweets, all sent between 5:14 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. eastern time, clearly demonstrate how the mention of Alicia Machado, 1996's Miss Universe winner, during the first presidential debate earlier this week got under the candidate's skin. At the end of the debate, Hillary Clinton said he called the former Miss Universe "Miss Piggy" and "Miss Housekeeping, because she was Latina," then told him Machado had become U.S. citizen and would be voting in the upcoming election.

People on Twitter reacted swiftly to the early morning Twitter tirade, pointing out his worrisome temperament, the blatant sexism of bringing up a "sex tape," and his absurd conspiracy theory about Clinton's involvement in Machado's citizenship.

While it should not matter whether or not a sex tape exists, it's important to note Trump's slut-shaming claim is based on nothing but Internet rumors and grainy footage of Machado under the covers allegedly having sex while on a reality show, according to Snopes.

The Washington Post outlines how his theory of how Clinton helped Machado "become a U.S. citizen so she could use her in the debate" makes little sense: "Machado became a U.S. citizen in August and the application process generally takes at least six months. So Clinton would have had to hatch this plot in early 2016 — to know just as the primaries were beginning that she would face Trump in the debates, and that Machado would figure into them."

The morning after the debate, Trump made another disastrous move by calling in to the show Fox & Friends to explain the Machado situation, saying "[S]he gained a massive amount of weight and it was a real problem," thus digging himself into a deeper hole. Trump's refusal to simply move on from the Machado situation is reminiscent of his feud with Khizr Khan, the father of slain Muslim-American U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan. Rather than simply accepting or ignoring the Khan's criticism, which came during the Democratic National Convention in July, Trump and his surrogates impugned the character of the Gold Star father.

The rapid-fire tweets are also a revealing look at Trump's questionable temperament. Earlier this month, a New York Times/CBS News poll found that 64 percent of Americans – or nearly two-thirds of the electorate – said Trump did not have the "right kind of temperament and personality to be a good president."