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Twitter, 'lies' and videotape: Trump shames beauty queen

The Associated Press

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally on Thursday in Bedford, N.H.

The Associated Press GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Plunging deeper into campaign controversy, Donald Trump publicly shamed a former beauty queen on Friday for her “disgusting” sexual past and then — in one of presidential history’s more bizarre moments — encouraged Americans to watch a “sex tape” he said would support his case.

The tweet-storm that Trump launched into at 3:20 a.m. started a day of did-that-just-happen moments that ended with Clinton’s campaign calling Trump an adult film star. Even many of Trump’s supporters shook their heads at their candidate’s latest outburst, worried it 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.

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  • The Associated Press

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign stop in Fort Pierce, Fla., on Friday.

Unsurprisingly, Trump’s pre-dawn Twitter tirade 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.”

Machado took to Facebook to say his 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 near the nuclear codes.”

“He’s being Trump. I don’t have any comment beyond that,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a top supporter. Generally chatty and occasionally critical of Trump, Gingrich said tersely that Trump sometimes does “strange things,” but that Clinton lies. “I’ll let you decide which is worse for America.”Speech

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