The “sex tape” angle here is sucking up all the attention. (Apparently, sex sells.) That appears to be a reference to reports about a steamy love scene that Machado filmed in 2005, though without further clarification, it’s hard to know for sure. As for her “past,” the Daily Beast recently ran through some of the more lurid allegations from during her days as a Venezuelan celebrity right here.
But all that is less interesting and revealing — no, really — than is Trump’s suggestion that Clinton helped Machado become a U.S. citizen so she could become a prop for Clinton at the debate.
It turns out that Trump is right in one sense. But it isn’t quite how he thinks.
Machado did in fact become a U.S. citizen in order to increase her influence over this presidential contest. She did so apparently to vote against Donald Trump, because she sees this as an an enormously consequential election….
What Trump’s tweet really says is that Machado’s effort to secure the vote for herself is suspect, because Clinton may have helped smooth that process, to Clinton’s own benefit. This is a version of the longtime charge that Democrats only want to create a path to citizenship for Latino immigrants in order to pad the voter rolls in their favor, and surely this will thrill Trumpist voters who are very upset about the ways the country is rigged in favor of various minority groups.
But the merits of that argument aside, it is politically awful for Trump — given his need to expand his appeal — to be questioning this effort at political integration by a former Latina beauty queen who is publicly urging more Latinos to participate in the election and is publicly declaring her pride at becoming a U.S. citizen who can now exercise her right to vote.