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Alicia Machado pushes back on Trump's attempt to 'discredit and demoralize' her

Actress and former Miss Universe Alicia Machado campaigns for Hillary Clinton on August 20, 2016 in Miami, Florida.
Johnny Louis | WireImage | Getty Images

Alicia Machado on Friday criticized Donald Trump's overnight Twitter rant about her, saying the presidential contender's campaign has tried to "discredit and demoralize" her.

Machado, a former Miss Universe winner who Trump ridiculed for gaining weight, began publicly supporting Hillary Clinton after she brought up Trump's past comments about Machado in the first presidential debate Monday. Trump stood by his criticism of Machado after the debate and called her "disgusting" in a late-night tweetstorm.

In an Instagram post that showed Machado, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Venezuela, draped in an American flag, Machado called Trump's tweets an attempt to "humiliate" her.

"The Republican candidate insists on discrediting and demoralizing a woman, which is one of his most frightening features," Machado said (in a rough translation from Spanish).

She later commented in a tweet.

Machado said that she would continue to support Clinton, and that she "continued to stand firm" on her experience as a Miss Universe.

Clinton brought up Machado in Monday night's first presidential debate to highlight Trump's past comments that many considered disrespectful to women and Hispanics. His late-night tweets only resurrected those concerns.

Clinton's account tweeted on Friday asking, "What kind of man stays up all night to smear a woman with lies and conspiracy theories?", then piled on the ridicule in the early hours of Saturday.