Gingrich: Former Miss Universe is 'the new Benghazi lie'
© Greg Nash

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump heads to California Hillary Clinton: Voter suppression has led to 'crisis in democracy' in the US MORE’s use of a former Miss Universe winner to attack Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE resembles her handling of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, according to Newt Gingrich. 

“This is the new Benghazi lie,” the former House Speaker said Thursday on “The Sean Hannity Show,” as first reported by BuzzFeed.

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“What Hillary tried to set up and what they apparently spent months preparing is an ambush as false as Benghazi,” Gingrich said of Clinton’s defense of Alicia Machado.

“It was as false as her claim she was under fire in in Bosnia. It was as false as the lies she told on her emails. The elite media, which is Clinton, I mean, they totally identify with her, they took it hook, line and sinker.”

Clinton brought up Machado, a 39-year-old former beauty queen from Venezuela, to attack Trump during the first presidential debate.

“He called this woman ‘Miss Piggy,’ then he called her ‘Miss Housekeeping,’ because she was Latina,” she said last Monday at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.

“Donald, she has a name. Her name is Alicia Machado, and she has become a U.S. citizen, and you can bet she’s going to vote this November.”

Machado says Trump insulted her attractiveness and weight while she was Miss Universe in 1996. Trump owned the pageant at the time. 

Gingrich on Thursday said the media was eager for a story like Machado’s they could use for discrediting Trump.

“They clearly had set it up to be triggered at the debate,” he said. "At the last minute, Hillary suddenly realizes she hasn’t gotten it in yet.

“So you have this total detour to make sure she has gotten the story planted so all that all the news media that are lined up — all of it’s embargoed, all of it’s sitting there waiting,” Gingrich added.

“[They’re] quivering, just waiting for Hillary to give them the signal. We all got sucked in at the very last second.”

An ad released by the Clinton campaign shortly after the debate included footage of a press event where Trump invited reporters to watch Machado exercise. In one of the clips, Trump talks about Machado gaining 60 or 70 pounds and says she is “somebody who likes to eat.”

Trump on Friday said Clinton was “duped” into promoting Machado despite her “terrible” past.

Trump also urged voters to “check out” an alleged “sex tape” of Machado.