Gingrich Boldly Labels Alicia Machado ‘The New Benghazi’

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.”

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

TPM Staff
Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: