During the first Trump-Clinton presidential debate, Clinton said:

He called this woman "Miss Piggy." Then he called her "Miss Housekeeping," because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name. Her name is Alicia Machado.

Trump responded by asking "Where did you find this?", repeating the question three times. However, I'm not aware that Trump made any real attempts to debunk the claim.

I've tried searching for when and where Trump said this, but I couldn't find where it's supposed to have originated from.

  • 2
    "Where did you find this?" to me doesn't sound like debunking, it sounds like freaking out about someone else finding out a truth. If anything you should be saying you're not aware that Trump made any further attempts to verify the claim...
    – user541686
    Commented Oct 1, 2016 at 20:37

2 Answers 2


Machado made the same claims in an interview with Inside Edition in May 2016:

Machado, who claims she actually gained closer to 15 pounds, told IE she felt publicly shamed. She said he called her “Miss Piggy." It made her feel “so fat” that it made her “very depressed," she said.

The Huffington Post reports Trump's other insult was featured in the same program:

Machado said Trump also made fun of her English language skills and called her “Miss Housekeeping” in an apparent jab at her Venezuelan accent.

To me, this interview looks to be a possible (and likely) source for Clinton's claims. Sure, her story was already out there, but both of the terms Clinton cited appear in this interview, and the interview seems to have been a follow-up of sorts to a NYTimes piece about Trump's insults towards women. Surely this was added to the opposition research.

I doubt video evidence of Trump's actually calling her these terms exists, but they certainly don't seem out of character for him.


This is Machado's own claim, as she confirmed to the New York Times today.

Ms. Machado recalled the taunts from Mr. Trump that Mrs. Clinton invoked on Monday night, as well as another sobriquet: “Miss Eating Machine.”

[edit: As the other answer notes, this was not first made public at the debate. She has been stating this publicly since May 2016 at the latest.]

This additional insult Trump repeated in public, on the Howard Stern show: “She gained about 55 pounds in a period of nine months. She was like an eating machine."

It was also widely reported at the time (1997) that Trump called a press conference which Machado was forced to attend, and told reporters that she was "somebody who likes to eat". He also told the "rowdy" reporters, "A lot of you folks have weight problems. I hate to tell you."

  • 4
    "As far as I can tell Machado's claims were first publicized at the debate" - This story has been out in the public for quite some time. Most of the ones about private comments came out in July of last year, because Machado announced that she was going to write a "tell all" book about it. Previous, public comments about her weight, and the public spectacle of having the press come and watch her work out, while calling her an "eating machine" to the press were well publicized and criticized, to a certain extent at the time. Just an FYI, certainly not worth a down-vote or anything. Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 13:56
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    In his book, The Art of the Comeback, Donald Trump wrote: "I could just see Alicia Machado, the current Miss Universe, sitting there plumply. God, what problems I had with this woman." Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 18:24
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    @DavidSchwartz to be fair the book was largely ghostwritten, but then Trump did give it his seal of approval and the ghostwriter gathered material by following Trump around.
    – Tacroy
    Commented Sep 30, 2016 at 20:23
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    How is this the answer? Neither "Miss Piggy" nor "Miss Housekeeping" are even mentioned.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Sep 30, 2016 at 23:51
  • 4
    @DCShannon The article does, and the initial quote's phrase "the taunts from Mr. Trump" is referencing them. This seems like completely appropriate context, no need to restate them. Commented Oct 1, 2016 at 15:23

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