Politics

Transcript of Tuesday’s press call with Alicia Machado

FILE - In this June 15, 2016, file photo, former Miss Universe Alicia Machado speaks during a news conference at a Latino restaurant in Arlington, Va., to criticize Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Machado became a topic of conversation during the first presidential debate between Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton on Sept. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Luis Alonso Lugo, File)

AP/File

Former Miss Universe Alicia Machado in June.

The following is a translated transcript from the press call with Alicia Machado, as provided by the Hillary Clinton campaign:

Washington Post, Ed O’Keefe: Alicia, thank you for doing this call. I’m just going to chime in. What did you think when you heard what Trump said last night and what are you planning to do for the campaign in the next few weeks? Are you going to travel to different states with them? Are you going to give interviews?

Well, last night I was with my family, with my mom and with my daughter, we were watching the debate and you know, I was really surprised. It was a big surprise for me because I have been sharing this story, my story, with all of my fans and all of the communities from the beginning.

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And I have been talking about this for 20 years, this really bad experience working with Mr. Donald Trump. And last night, when I heard my President, whom I admire and respect, [inaudible] Mrs. Clinton. And I started crying. I started crying because I never imagined that such an important person like her would care about my story, know about my story. And I am really committed to the US, to my daughter.

And since the day this man decided to run for president, from that day I started to do my personal work, for personal reasons that are in my heart. I started to share with people so they can open their eyes and I believe that, above all things, we need a good person as a leader of the US. I was really surprised and I’m really grateful to Mrs. Clinton for taking my story into account. I know there are a lot of women who identify with me.

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I lament that I could be an uncomfortable person for Mr. Trump, but that’s how things were. And I know very well what’s he’s capable of, this man. And that’s why I am fighting to make the community understand, now more than ever, that Latinos need to support the US, that we need to return all the beautiful and grand things the US has provided for us.

We need to participate in these elections and today I have a really normal day. Today I have a big casting, because I’m an actress all of this time, and I have a casting today, and in the morning I was with my daughter at school, she’s in second grade, and now I’m in my office, taking my brand, my products. You know, my life feels like it is right now, I want to support Mrs. Clinton until the end.

Basically by sharing my experience and focusing on abuse against women, the disrespect to women, violence against women, must end. We must reach equality, for which all women fight for every day. And I think Mrs. Clinton is the right person to continue this fight for equal pay, access to the same training, the freedom to express their ideas, women’s rights, and that my story as Miss Universe with this person will open eyes in these elections. This is perhaps, the tip of the iceberg.

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My story, the story of a beauty queen, but 20 years later, I am no longer a beauty queen. I am a real woman, I am a mother, I am a business girl, I am an actress, I am an activist and you know, maybe my story can change minds, and I continue to stand with Mrs. Clinton until the end, whatever she might need, whatever she might need from me, I’m gladly here for her, and for the first female president of the United States, and for my Latino community, for the working women, am I here.

And I will continue supporting her until the end. For me, she’s the President and I want to keep working on my campaigns for pro women’s equality, for the respect to women and that our physical appearances do not define us as productive or intelligent beings. We are more than what we look like physically, that’s my point. And well, I will be with Mrs. Clinton until she becomes president and I am going to share with her my story so they can use it to help her win until the end. And wherever they want to invite me to share with the Latino community, to share my story, I will gladly do so.

MSNBC, Monica Alba: Hi Alicia, I wanted to know where exactly you watched the debate last night? And did you have a heads up from the campaign that Sec. Clinton was going to mention your story and what did you think of Donald Trump’s reaction when they were talking about it?

That debate was really clear, because Mrs. Clinton, you know, she is the right person. She has the experience, she’s a lawyer, she’s a really successful person, she’s [inaudible] to be a president. And that debate was really clear. It was watching brutality versus the intelligence and the serenity, he was uncalm. It was very, how can I explain this? It was watching Mrs. Clinton have a lot of patience to tolerate this person who is good-for-nothing, despicable, so vulgar, so rude. I thought it was incredible, it was an honor and a great responsibility that Mrs. Clinton mentioned me. I am really grateful. I will try to commit myself to the importance of them mentioning me, I will try to keep being an activist sharing my story, I’m trying to help younger girls and how I can do it.

His [inaudible]. I think he never, he wasn’t waiting for that. He was like, ‘oh my god, why did she pronounce that name?’ Maybe, Mr. Trump doesn’t even remember me, he doesn’t remember who I am. He doesn’t remember all of the things he did to me, all of the things he told me. Because it was evident, maybe he doesn’t remember the 18 year old girl he insulted, he offended, the one he mistreated thousands of times during one year. But I remember him, I have always remembered him. And I think his reaction, he always treated me as a lesser thing, he always treated me like trash and now, his face was like, “Now this trash is back, again.” And I don’t know. God’s timing is perfect.

CNN, Dan Merica: Just wondering if you had any contact with Mr. Trump since, well obviously not last night, but in the last few years if you have had any contact with Mr. Donald Trump?

(Sorry, could you translate what he just asked me?)

No, never. I haven’t seen him since the Miss Universe year. I was trying to forget all about that year, about the abuse, and the bad moments with him because Miss Universe was the most amazing experience for me. The people around the world with me were amazing, were so lovely, and I was the most worker Miss Universe in the history of the pageant. I did, I don’t know, maybe a 100 commercials, publicities and a lot of that kind of, you know, campaigns in that time.

And you know after Miss Universe year, I started my career have as an actress, I have 20 years in experiences as an actress, of course, in the Latin World, in movies, in soap operas, in theatres, well in a lot of projects. I was working really hard to forget that moment, to overcome my eating disorders after that year. I was in the middle of that problem for three or four years and at the same time I was working in telenovelas and on my career.

You know, being Miss Universe was just the opportunity to start a career as an actress and now I am a voice in my Latino community, and I’m an activist too. And you know, I was trying to forget and trying to give me up, myself to that bad experience with Mr. Trump. But I never saw him anymore and I don’t want to see him, anymore neither.

For me this election has been like a bad dream, you know I never imagined like 20 years later having put into this position and just like watching this guy again do stupid things and stupid comments so misogynous and so machista and I never imagined something like it. It is a really bad dream for me, but you know now I’m supporting Mrs. Clinton, I believe in her experience and she’s a girl, she is a strong girl, she is a smart girl and now I am not a beauty queen, I am not Miss Universe anymore. I am a worker woman and a mother and I have a family. I have a career, I have a business and you know I have (inaudible)

Univision; Fusion, Enrique Acevedo: Hi Alicia, I just wanted to ask you about your relationship with Trump when you were still Miss Universe, can you talk a little bit more about that, about how the interaction was? Not only yours, but also the other contestants and women around you. Other women also participated in the contest, what was their interaction with Mr. Trump?

Look, I, my relationship with Trump was during a bad year. You know, I didn’t share time with him while I was a candidate for Miss Universe because he wasn’t an owner, yet. I was the first Miss Universe when he bought the company. And my relationship with him started 15 days after the pageant. He had just bought the company. And, well, that was 20 years ago.

He also wasn’t the person he is now. At that moment I only remember some business guy, from person, because he was my boss at that moment. But my relationship with him was very close. Perhaps because he had just bought Miss Universe, maybe this was his new toy and he didn’t know to execute the contest, the company he had just bought because at the end of the day, being in Miss Universe like in some model agencies. And all the time, he was in the office, other times he was talking to me, I would go to a lot of events with him because he would ask me to be there. And I would go, it was my job. And so, my relationship with him started to become very rude. Very rude, because that’s the way to describe it.

Maybe when he started using my supposed weight gain to make a business, to make a big contract. Because he’s said I am the worst Miss Universe in history, but first, I don’t even think he remembers me, to begin.

And secondly, I’d like to remind him that I am in the Guinness Book as the Miss Universe with the most publicity campaigns accomplished in history, as the Miss Universe that has visited the most countries in one year, in the history of this contest. So that big publicity generated a lot of profits for the contest, but not for me. He didn’t pay me what was agreed on on the contract. I never had the courage to sue him, and I could’ve done it. I was scared and I didn’t dare to sue him. I was really young, I’ve never had a big team around me. I’m just a working woman, and that’s it. And I never dared. I was always really scared of him and continue to be scared of him. I never said anything because I was scared to be pinned as the rebellious, fat and conflictive Miss Universe because I would speak up and because I didn’t have a relationship with this person. I couldn’t have a good relationship with a person who constantly insulted me, offended me and mistreated me.

I was not brought up with that education. Despite all of this, despite having left Miss Universe with a horrible reputation of being fat, conflictive, problematic “rebellious”, those were all the adjectives that he gave me. And he was a very powerful man. Twenty years later, here I am, working, soap opera after soap opera, show after show. I think I have earned it with a lot of effort and I think I have also shown that I am not a conflictive person, and I wish this would establish a precedent for us Latinos and for women, that staying quiet and not speaking up is not always the right thing. I never imagined that this man would run for President. That is the reason why I now dare to talk a bit more and to render all my support to Mrs. Clinton. I have a daughter, a daughter who I want to see grow free, who I want to see grow smart, with her rights, who won’t have to withstand any humiliation from anybody, and that is why I do it. Because I believe my history with that man can open many people’s eyes. You can’t shake off racism, and we can’t take the risk of having such a violent, ill-tempered, sexist, misogynous person [as a President] as this man is.”

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