1996 Miss Universe Alicia Machado makes cameo in U.S. debate

On the morning after the first U.S. debate, Trump told Fox that Alicia Machado was 'the worst we ever had'

FILE - In this May 17, 1996, file photo, the new Miss Universe Alicia Machado of Venezuela reacts as she is crowned by the 1995 winner Chelsi Smith at the Miss Universe competition in Las Vegas. Machado became a topic of conversation during the first presidential debate between Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton on Sept. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Eric Draper, File)

In May 17, 1996 Alicia Machado of Venezuela was crowned Miss Universe. (AP Photo/Eric Draper, File)

NEW YORK — A former Miss Universe was the unlikely topic of conversation at the first presidential debate between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Clinton referenced a claim by 1996 Miss Universe Alicia Machado that Trump called her “Miss Piggy” when Machado gained weight following the pageant, which Trump formerly owned. Clinton also said Trump referred to the Venezuela-born Machado as “Miss Housekeeping.”

Trump repeatedly asked Clinton where she had heard that, then dismissed Clinton’s comment that Machado would vote for her with “OK, good.”

Machado went on a diet in 1997 after saying she gained at least 15 pounds. Trump said during a public workout that “she likes to eat — like all of us” and supported her weight-loss efforts.

On Tuesday, Trump said it was a “real problem” when Miss Universe gained significant weight after winning the pageant he formerly owned.

Trump told “Fox and Friends” that Machado was “the worst we ever had,” referring to past winners of the pageant.

Trump says, “She gained a massive amount of weight. It was a real problem. We had a real problem.”

After Monday’s debate, Clinton’s campaign released this video starring Machado:

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