Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump increased his attacks on a former beauty queen with a vague and unsubstantiated allegation about a sex tape in predawn Twitter posts on Friday, and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton denounced him as “unhinged.”
Trump’s refusal to drop his invective against Alicia Machado, the Miss Universe from Venezuela whom he criticized for gaining weight after she won the crown in 1996, threatened to damage his already weak standing among women and Hispanics.
With less than six weeks to go until the Nov. 8 election, Trump made reference – without giving evidence – to a sex tape involving Machado, who had publicly denounced him all week as a humiliating bully. His attacks provided critics with new fodder to question his temperament for the White House.
“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?” Trump said in his Twitter messages in the early hours of Friday. He did not elaborate on his allegations beyond saying that the Clinton campaign was unaware of the beauty queen’s past and had been “duped” by her.
At a campaign rally in Coral Springs, Florida, Clinton said the episode was evidence that “a man who can be provoked by a tweet should not have the nuclear codes.”
“Who gets up at 3 a.m. in the morning to engage in a Twitter attack against a former Miss Universe? I mean he hurled as many insults as he could. Really, why does he do things like that?
“His latest Twitter meltdown is unhinged, even for him. It proves again he is temperamentally unfit to be President of the United States,” she said.
Later on Friday, BuzzFeed said Trump made an appearance in a Playboy softcore pornographic movie from 2000 that it said it had obtained from an online adult video store in New York state.
“Trump’s role in the porn is relatively benign and centers around him breaking a bottle of champagne on a Playboy-branded limo while several of the playmates are VISITING New York City,” the online media outlet said.
“There’s been a lot of talk about sex tapes today and in a strange turn of events only one adult film has emerged today and its star is Donald Trump,” Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill told reporters after a campaign event in Florida.