Clinton at debate: Trump called Miss Universe 'Miss Piggy'

There was a collective hush Monday night during the first presidential debate when Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton mentioned a former Miss Universe victor as an example of how she says Republican nominee Donald Trump treats women.

In the debate, Trump repeatedly challenged Clinton over where she had heard that, then dismissed Clinton's comment that Machado would vote for her with "OK, good".

The Clinton campaign featured Machado in an ad leading up to last night's debate, where she reiterated these horrifying comments.

Trump says, "She gained a massive amount of weight". Soon after, she gained weight, and - she says - bullying from Mr Trump followed.

She opened up about her treatment by Trump during the Miss Universe pageant in an interview released on Clinton's Twitter account.

As Clinton reminded Trump of his degrading remarks, she told him the South American model had recently become a U.S. citizen. "We had a real problem". He was overwhelming. I was very scared of him.

Machado told Inside Edition in May that she actually gained closer to 15 pounds and that Trump called her "Miss Housekeeping", because she is Latina, and "Miss Piggy".

"I was never paid", says Machado. "Her name is Alicia Machado".

She has now become an American citizen and has vowed to vote for Mrs Clinton.

Machado won Miss Universe in 1996, and was the first Miss Universe after Trump bought the pageant. "Not only that, her attitude, and we had a real problem with her".

After that ordeal, Machado said she struggled for five years with anorexia and bulimia.

Tuesday was hardly the first time Trump has expressed dissatisfaction with Machado. She said he called her "Miss Piggy" and, in a reference to her Venezuelan roots, "Miss Housekeeping". "Like me. Like Alicia", Trump said at the time.

Machado spoke with reporters Tuesday in a conference call arranged by the Clinton campaign.

Trump then responded by saying: "I was going to say something... extremely rough to Hillary, to her family, and I said to myself, 'I can't do it".

In the interview with Fox News, Trump said he considered replying by bringing up former President Bill Clinton's history of infidelity but made a decision to exercise restraint.

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