Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. on Sept. 26, 2016.
Photo by Mark Peterson/Redux for MSNBC

Donald Trump takes aim at Miss Universe (again)

Towards the end of the first presidential debate featuring Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the Democrat delivered one of her most brutal blows against her Republican rival, focusing on Trump’s offensive rhetoric towards women.

Clinton noted an incident in which Trump called a Miss Universe pageant contestant “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping” because she was Latina. “Donald, she has a name,” Clinton said. “Her name is Alicia Machado. And she has become a U.S. citizen, and you can bet she’s going to vote this November.”

“OK, good,” Trump said, before arguing that some of his anti-women rhetoric is intended as “entertainment,” and some of it’s deliberate – such as his attacks on Rosie O’Donnell. “I think everybody would agree that she deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her,” he added.

Trump retreated to Fox News again this morning, where, inexplicably, the Republican nominee decided to once again return to the subject.
STEVE DOOCY: Going in, [Hillary Clinton] was trying to get under your skin a couple of times. Did she?

DONALD TRUMP: No, not at all. I didn’t see it that way. At the end, maybe, the very last question, when she brought up the person that became – I know that person, that person was a Miss Universe person, and she was the worst we ever had. The worst, the absolute worst. She was impossible, and she was a Miss Universe contestant and ultimately a winner who they had a tremendously difficult time with as Miss Universe. […]

She was the winner, and she gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem. We had a real problem.
Note, the Fox hosts didn’t ask about Alicia Machado or Trump’s misogynistic rhetoric. They asked whether Clinton got under his skin.

Trump brought up Machado unprompted – and proceeded to complain about her weight.

In other words, Trump isn’t denying his “Miss Piggy” label, but rather, he’s explaining why he feels justified using language like this.

The Clinton campaign already has some very effective ads slamming Trump’s misogyny, and as of this morning, Trump is apparently eager to help give her fresh content to work with.

Indeed, last night, the Clinton campaign promoted this two-minute video of Machado reflecting on Trump’s mistreatment. It’s too long to run on television, but it’s the kind of clip, when combined with Trump’s antics last night and this morning, that should probably increase the gender gap.

Debates, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Presidential Debates and War On Women

Donald Trump takes aim at Miss Universe (again)