Judging from Carl Higbie’s appearance on The Kelly File tonight, the Donald Trump campaign still thinks it’s a good idea to pretend he was only trying to help former Miss Universe Alicia Machado when he belittled her about her weight. Even so, Higbie’s insistence that Trump generously gave Machado a “luxury exercise program” was laughable.
Even worse, the “luxury exercise program” line came in response to the latest revelation about Trump’s sexism: revelations that Trump wanted to fire and replace unattractive women at one of his golf clubs.
I counted six times that Higbie praised Trump’s treatment of Machado as a “luxury exercise program” or "luxury fitness program." That suggests that the spin was planned in advance. It also matches Trump’s own claim on The O’Reilly Factor the night before when he boasted that his attempt to get Machado to lose weight was a noble effort to save her job, for which he was being unfairly attacked.
Here’s a sample of the dialogue:
MEGYN KELLY: This is alienating to a lot of people who struggle with eating.
HIGBIE: Yeah, I mean, you know what, Megyn? The fact of the matter is 50% of our country is drastically overweight and you know what?
KELLY: Including Trump!
HIGBIE: Well, Trump did say he could shed a few pounds. But the fact is who cares? We’re talking about a little bit of weight and this is a woman—also this Machado woman, he gave her a luxury exercise program, and they posed for all these pictures, and she was so happy to accept that that he was willing to let her keep her title—
KELLY: She only posed for the pictures because he ambushed her at the exercise facility with eighty reporters who took pictures of her while Donald Trump looked at her from the sidelines. I mean that is what happened there.
HIGBIE: He didn’t ambush her. He (sic) was on his paid, you know luxury fitness program.
Sorry, but this latest excuse is just as ridiculous.
Watch it below, from the September 29, 2016 The Kelly File, via Media Matters.