Gingrich Boldly Labels Alicia Machado ‘The New Benghazi’

Evan Vucci/AP

In a Thursday interview, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich slammed Hillary Clinton’s resurfacing of Donald Trump’s comments about a former Miss Universe as “an ambush that was as false as Benghazi.”

“This is the new Benghazi lie,” he said in an interview on conservative radio host Sean Hannity’s show, as flagged by Buzzfeed.

“It was as false as her claim she was under fire in Bosnia. It was as false as the lies she told about her emails,” he added, sparing no political metaphor in his criticism of Clinton. “As happened in Ferguson, as happened in Benghazi, as happened in Bosnia, it’s all starting to fall apart because it’s based on a series of falsehoods.”

Gingrich presumably was referring to the 2012 attacks on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, and Clinton’s account of coming under sniper fire in Bosnia during a 1996 visit as first lady. He didn’t elaborate on those events’ connection to each other or to Alicia Machado, the winner of the Miss Universe pageant in 1996 who Trump once berated for gaining weight.

While it wasn’t clear exactly what Gingrich meant by his comparison, conservatives have long seized on Benghazi as a rhetorical tactic.

Hillary Clinton attacked Trump for his past treatment of Machado during the first presidential debate, noting that he called her “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping” and invited the press to watch her work out after she was crowned Miss Universe.

Trump was “actually being very positive,” Gingrich claimed on Thursday.

On Friday morning, Trump renewed his attacks on Machado with an early morning tweetstorm calling her “disgusting” and claiming that she has a “sex tape.”

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