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Alicia Machado fires back at Donald Trump after Twitter salvos

By Eric DuVall

NEW YORK, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Former Miss Universe Alicia Machado fired back at Donald Trump saying he was "once again launching attacks" to discredit her after he went on an early-morning Twitter rant during which he said Machado had made a sex tape.

Machado was interjected into the campaign by Hillary Clinton, who invoked her story during Monday's debate. Clinton shamed Trump for demeaning Machado publicly when she gained weight after winning Trump's Miss Universe beauty pageant in 1996.

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Machado, who was born in Venezuela but recently became a. U.S. citizen, came forward earlier this week, charging Trump called her "Miss Piggy" -- a reference to her weight -- and "Miss Housekeeping" -- a reference to her Latina heritage -- during the year she worked for Trump as Miss Universe. Machado said the remarks about her weight caused her to slip back into bulimia, which took her years to overcome.

Trump sent two tweets around 5 a.m. Friday, renewing his feud with Machado. Trump did not defend against Clinton's allegations during the debate, but did repeat his criticism of Machado's weight in an interview with Fox News the following morning.

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In his Twitter salvos Friday, Trump implied Machado had made a sex tape, though no proof of its existence has surfaced.

"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?" Trump tweeted.

Machado and Clinton both responded. Clinton called Trump "unhinged." Machado released a long statement on Instagram, accompanied by a photo of her draped in an American flag.

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"The Republican candidate and his campaign are, once again launching attacks, insults and are attempting to revive slanders and false accusations about my life, in order to humiliate, intimidate, and unbalance me. These attacks are cheap lies with bad intentions," she wrote.

"The Republican candidate and his campaign are, once again launching attacks, insults and are attempting to revive slanders and false accusations about my life, in order to humiliate, intimidate, and unbalance me. These attacks are cheap lies with bad intentions. This, of course, is not the first time the candidate insists on discrediting someone or insists on demoralizing women, minorities, and people of certain religions through his hateful campaign. This is definitely one of his most frightful characteristics. Through his attacks, he's attempting to distract from his campaign's real problems and his inability to be the leader of this great country. When I was young, the now candidate, humiliated me, insulted me, disrespected me both publicly and privately in the cruelest way. The same way this happened to me, it's clear that throughout the years, he's continued his actions and behavior with other women. Therefore, I will continue to stand on my feet, sharing my story and my absolute support for Secretary Clinton, on behalf of all women -- my sisters, aunts, grandmothers, cousins, women within the community. I want to thank all of my Latinas and those who have supported me and given me love and respect for my career, and as a human being. I became a United States citizen because my daughter was born here and because I wanted to exercise my rights, among them, I wanted to vote. I will continue standing firm in my lived experience as Miss Universe and even stronger with your support. I've been so pleased and honored by so many kind and heartfelt words. I'm focusing on my career and my work as a mother, and I will continue taking positive steps for the Latino community. I will continue being an activist for women's rights and fighting for the respect we deserve. I appreciate all your love and thank you again for your support." Many blessings, ALICIA MACHADO 🙏🏻💋

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A photo posted by Alicia Machado (@machadooficial) on

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