The Republicans Twitter tirade against former Miss Universe has been labeled a Machado meltdown after Clinton brought her story to national attention
Donald Trump was accused by the Clinton campaign of unhinged behaviour toward a former Miss Universe winner on Friday after he fired off a tirade of personal attacks against her in the middle of the night.
Launching the fourth day of a war of words against Alicia Machado that is causing consternation among Republicans, the partys candidate accused Machado of having a disgusting past after she criticised his attitude toward women.
Machado captured national attention during the US presidential debate on Monday when Hillary Clinton recalled how Trump had first labeled her Miss Piggy and publicly shamed her for putting on weight when he owned the beauty contest.
But widespread sympathy garnered by the Venezuelan-born actress who earlier told the Guardian she had struggled with years of eating disorders after incident appears to have riled the celebrity property tycoon.
In a string of tweets sent between 5:14am and 5:30am from New York, Trump alluded to unproven accusations against Machado and claimed she had been helped to become a US citizen so Democrats could exploit her.
Wow, Crooked Hillary was duped and used by my worst Miss U. Hillary floated her as an angel without checking her past, which is terrible! wrote Trump.
Did Crooked Hillary help disgusting (check out sex tape and past) Alicia M become a US citizen so she could use her in the debate? he added.
The Clinton campaign denies playing any part in Machados citizenship application, but seized on the apparently false rumours of a sex tape as evidence of an attempt to smear her in revenge for speaking out.
This is unhinged, even for Trump, responded Hillary Clintons Twitter account on Friday. What kind of man stays up all night to smear a woman with lies and conspiracy theories? (The tweet was not signed H, which Clinton uses to indicate she has written messages herself.)
Machado posed topless for Playboy in Mexico and briefly took part in a risqu, but censored, scene on a reality TV show, but the New York Times says fact-checkers have found no evidence to support conservative rumours of a sex tape.
Trumps apparent obsession with attacking Machado has added to worry among many Republicans that his campaign has lost focus since Clinton got under his skin in Mondays debate.
Alicia deserves praise for courageously standing up to Trumps attacks. And he has the gall to blame her and say he helped? added the Clinton campaign. When something gets under Donalds thin skin, he lashes out and cant let go. This is dangerous for a president.
Trump is on the verge of blowing it, wrote the former George W Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer on Friday. Free advice: Focus on Hillary. No one else. Hillary is your opponent. No one else is.
A Trump campaign aide in Florida also resigned on Friday citing concerns with the candidates behaviour. It is clear the campaign is now going in a direction I am no longer comfortable with and I have decided to move on, Healy Baumgardner told Bloomberg.