Trump blasts beauty queen in tweet tirade

Taunts prove op­po­nent un­fit, Clin­ton says

Baltimore Sun - - NATION - By Josh Le­d­er­man and Steve Peo­ples

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Plung­ing deeper into cam­paign con­tro­versy, Don­ald Trump at­tempted to pub­licly shame a former beauty queen Fri­day for her “dis­gust­ing” sex­ual past and en­cour­aged Amer­i­cans to watch a “sex tape” he said would sup­port his case.

Even some of Trump’s sup­port­ers shook their heads at his lat­est out­burst, which could fur­ther hurt him among the na­tion’s women, many of them al­ready skep­ti­cal, whose votes he’ll badly need to win elec­tion.

“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?” read a mis­sive from Trump posted on Twit­ter at 5:30 a.m.

That re­ferred to 1996 Miss Uni­verse Ali­cia Machado, a Venezuela- born woman whose weight gain he has said cre­ated ter­ri­ble prob­lems for the pageant he formerly owned.

Trump’s pre-dawn tweet­storm ric­o­cheted across the cam­paign trail.

Trump’s cam­paign ac­cused the me­dia and Hil­lary Clin­ton of col­lud­ing to set him up for fresh con­dem­na­tion, to which Clin­ton re­torted, “His lat­est Twit­ter melt­down is un­hinged, even for him.”

“Who gets up at 3 o’clock in the morn­ing to en­gage in a Twit­ter at­tack?” Clin­ton asked.

She said Trump’s tweets against Machado show that he is “tem­per­a­men­tally un­fit” to be pres­i­dent.

Cam­paign com­mu­ni­ca­tions direc­tor Jen­nifer Palmieri said Clin­ton did not help Machado be­come a cit­i­zen.

The tweet­storm sparked crit­i­cism on the sub­stance of Trump’s re­marks and how they de­rail his anti-Clin­ton mes­sage. At the same time, the tweets drowned out Clin­ton’s pol­icy speech, de­liv­ered Ali­cia Machado, Miss Uni­verse 1996, has turned into a cam­paign is­sue for GOP nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump. Fri­day from Fort Pierce, Fla., on her plans to ex­pand pub­lic ser­vice. It was an­other ex­am­ple of the chal­lenge she faces as she seeks to give vot­ers a more up­lift­ing mes­sage — and a rea­son to vote for her, not just against Trump.

Machado took to Face­book to say Trump’s tweets were part of a pat­tern of “de­mor­al­iz­ing women,” call­ing them“cheap lies with bad in­ten­tions.”

Planned Par­ent­hood said it showed that Trump’s “misog­yny knows no bounds.”

And Clin­ton said they showed anew why some­one with Trump’s tem­per­a­ment “should not be any­where

STEVE EICHNER/WIREIMAGE 1996

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