Donald Trump is angry that his aides and advisers have conceded to reporters -- largely without attribution -- that the Republican nominee struggled in his first presidential debate.
In a conference call with surrogates Wednesday afternoon, Trump aides made clear the Republican nominee is upset that his allies publicly acknowledged they pushed him to change his preparation and tactics before his next bout with Hillary Clinton. And he wants them to stop it immediately.
The message was "not subtle," a source familiar with the call said.As if his bungled debate effort wasn't enough, Trump went on Fox and Friends the next day and criticized Miss Universe Alicia Machado for gaining weight during her reign:
Trump wants his supporters to make an energetic defense of his performance and refuse to concede that he didn't nail it.
During Monday night's presidential debate, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton referenced Miss Universe Alicia Machado's claim that Republican nominee Donald Trump called her "Miss Piggy" when she gained weight. Trump revisited the topic on Tuesday morning when he spoke in depth about the 1996 Miss Universe on "Fox and Friends."
In the debate, Trump repeatedly challenged Clinton over where she had heard that, then dismissed Clinton's comment that Machado would vote for her with "OK, good."
Trump told "Fox and Friends" it was a "real problem" when Machado gained significant weight after winning the pageant he then owned. He added that Machado was "the worst we ever had. The worst. The absolute worst. She was impossible."
"She was the winner, and she gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem... not only that, her attitude," Trump said. "And Hillary went back into the years and... found the girl and talked about her like she was Mother Teresa, and it wasn't quite that way, but that's OK. Hillary has to do what she has to do."I'm no expert on women, but I'm pretty sure that criticizing a woman for her weight gain is not a way to win female supporters.