06:30 GMT01 April 2020
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    Never one to let sleeping dogs lie, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump was clearly up early Friday morning.

    During Monday night’s first presidential debate, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton brought to light a little-known incident from Trump’s past. As the owner of the Miss Universe pageant, the billionaire reportedly chastised former contestant Alicia Machado for gaining weight after winning the crown.

    For a candidate who already has some trouble courting female voters, the anecdote could have a negative impact on his campaign. Trump’s best move, one might think, would be to apologize and then let the story fade away.

    That’s not exactly the billionaire’s style, however. Not only has he doubled-down on his criticism of Machado’s weight, he’s also adding more fuel to the fire.

    Early Friday morning, while the rest of America slept, Trump was wide awake. Beginning at 5:14 AM EDT, he launched a Twitter rant about the topic, calling Machado "disgusting" and suggesting that she has a "sex tape."

    It’s unclear what Trump is referring to. While Machado has appeared in topless photo shoots for Playboy Magazine, fact-checkers have been unable to turn up any evidence of a "sex tape."

    According to Wall Street Journal reporter Byron Tau, the Clinton campaign has already reached out to Machado in the wake of this latest rant.

    The former Miss Universe contestant has given a number of interviews following Monday’s debate and has repeatedly described Trump as sexist.

    An avid Twitter user, the Republican nominee likely surprised no one by being up late sharing his thoughts. The notion, in fact, had already been parodied in a pro-Clinton campaign ad released in July.

    Trump’s late-night Tweets would be odd on any night. But this particular tweetfest happened to coincide with the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres.

    So, in the sobering light of the morning, did Trump, at last, choose to move on?

    Not quite. As of 2:40 EDT on Friday afternoon he was busy trying to spin his embarrassing tweet storm into a positive.

    For the record, US presidents are not normally expected to remain awake 24/7, and have qualified staff to wake them in the event of an emergency.

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    Tags:
    2016 election, DNC, GOP, Alicia Machado, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, United States
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