The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Trump bashes ‘disgusting’ former beauty queen Alicia Machado, accuses her of having ‘sex tape’

Donald Trump and Alicia Machado, Miss Universe 1996. (Steve Eichner)

Donald Trump disparaged former Miss Universe Alicia Machado's character during an early morning tweet storm Friday and accused her of having a "sex tape.”

His attack on Machado, which appeared to be based on rumors circulating on the Internet, came amid an ongoing controversy over his comments about her weight gain in the months after she won the Miss Universe pageant in 1996. Trump’s public treatment of Machado at the time has been at the center of intense scrutiny since his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, brought up Machado during Monday’s presidential debate.

Donald Trump’s weight problem: He can’t stop talking about ‘fat’ people

In a series of tweets sent from the real estate developer's Twitter account, Trump called Machado "disgusting," a "con" and raised questions about her past. The tweets — which were sent between 3 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. — are the latest in a series of negative statements Trump has made about Machado.

This archive video from 1997 shows Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump with his now outspoken critic, former Miss Universe Alicia Machado. (Video: Reuters)

The allegation that Machado had a “sex tape” appears to be false. Trump appears to have been referring to racy footage from a Spanish-language reality television show called “La Granja,” on which she appeared in 2005.

Trump also alleged that Clinton helped Machado become a U.S. citizen in order to attack him. There is no evidence supporting that claim.

In an attempt to discredit Machado, Trump’s allies have also pointed to news reports of a controversial incident in 1998 in Venezuela, in which Machado was suspected of having driven a getaway car for her then-boyfriend after he shot someone. She later allegedly threatened the judge involved in the case. No charges were ever filed against her, and earlier this week she called those reports "speculation."

Why Donald Trump tweets late at night (and very early in the morning)

Clinton's campaign went on a tweet storm of its own on her official Twitter page, accusing him of being unhinged in a series of tweets.

Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, also mocked Trump on social media Friday morning.