Politically expedient changes of heart are to be expected for presidential candidates.
They’re just not usually about porn.
Barack Obama was for gay marriage and then against it (and then for it). Hillary Clinton was against gay marriage and then for it, and for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and then against it. Mitt Romney was pro-choice as governor of Massachusetts, and pro-life as a presidential candidate.
But these are normal politicians, changing their mind about political topics.
Major party nominees aren’t usually former reality television stars whose sensibilities make Ron Jeremy look like Donny Osmond.
In addition to changing his mind on nearly every domestic and foreign policy during the fifteen months he’s been running for president, it seems Donald Trump has arrived at a new position on an unlikely topic for a Republican nominee: sex tapes.
At 5:14 AM, as the rest of the country peacefully slumbered unaware, Trump’s little fingers got to work lobbing a series of criticisms of Alicia Machado on Twitter.
“Wow, Crooked Hillary was duped and used by my worst Miss U. Hillary floated her as an “angel” without checking her past, which is terrible!” Trump said.
“Using Alicia M in the debate as a paragon of virtue just shows that Crooked Hillary suffers from BAD JUDGEMENT! Hillary was set up by a con.”
He added, “Did Crooked Hillary help disgusting (check out sex tape and past) Alicia M become a U.S. citizen so she could use her in the debate?”
Machado is the former Miss Universe whom Trump publicly tormented for gaining weight back in 1996, calling her “Miss Piggy” among other names. Since the first presidential debate Monday night, when Clinton used the incident to paint a picture of Trump as a boorish misogynist, Machado has been on a media blitz on behalf of the Democratic nominee, and thus has become an enemy of Trump’s defenders in right-wing media.
Machado’s critics have noted that she is—you could generously say—an imperfect surrogate: a suspected murder accomplice and former reality TV participant who once posed for Playboy (although Trump, remember, is a former reality TV star who has posed for Playboy. And while not involved in any murders, he is close to Don King, the boxing promoter who stomped a man to death—but I digress).
There is no proof, however, that Machado performed in porn, despite the claims of Infowars, the conspiracy website, and others, like the more mainstream Daily Caller.
But Trump’s early morning Twitter tirade represents a reversal of sorts on the topic of sex tapes, which he previously enthusiastically supported.
As The Daily Beast reported in August of 2015, Trump told Howard Stern in 2003 that he had watched Paris Hilton’s sex tape with his then-girlfriend, Melania Knauss.
“It was just on the internet,” Trump said. “Melania showed it to me.”
“I’ve known Paris Hilton from the time she’s twelve, her parents are friends of mine,” he added. “And the first time I saw her she walked into the room and I said, ‘Who the hell is that?’ At twelve, I wasn’t interested…but she was beautiful.”
In 2004, he said the tape didn’t bother him and suggested Hilton host the Miss USA pageant.
In 2005, Trump told Vanity Fair that Hilton’s sex tape, “only made her hotter.”
And when it became public that Miss USA runner-up Carrie Prejean (who was later dethroned) had a sex tape in 2009, Trump encouraged her to release it for public consumption.
“She’s trying to act like she’s a nun,” Trump told the tabloid show Extra, “So maybe she should release the sex tape and people would see whether or not she is a nun.” On CNN, he added, “She openly admits there is a sex tape. Maybe she should reveal the sex tape to see whether or not it’s horrendous or whatever.”
A spokesperson for Trump did not immediately respond when asked when the Republican nominee began to think sex tapes were disgusting.
In August, however, Trump signed “The Children’s Internet Safety Presidential Pledge” by Enough.org, in which he promised that, if elected, he would, “give serious consideration to appointing a Presidential Commission to examine the harmful public health impact of Internet pornography on youth, families and the American culture and the prevention of the sexual exploitation of children in the digital age.”
This from the man who looked at a twelve year old Paris Hilton and thought, that’s hot.