Trump responded on a higher level of generality, with the idea that Hillary was going low and he was choosing not to follow her. He had some great low material, but he wouldn't use it, and her use of it wasn't nice. He wanted to be nice. That fit with something he said to her very early on in the debate: "I want you to be very happy. It’s very important to me."
After the debate — with a lot of people talking about Machado and giving her air time — he got specific:
Mr. Trump has acknowledged pressuring her to lose weight, saying it was her job as Miss Universe to remain in peak physical shape. On Tuesday morning, he made no apologies for that.I said what I had to say on the subject last May:
“She gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem,” he told Fox News.
What was Donald Trump supposed to do about that? He owned the business, and she had claimed — and beat out other women for — the job of acting as if she's the most beautiful woman in the universe, and then she radically changed her appearance....
Wasn't she obligated to control her weight according to the terms of employment? If you can't do the job, don't apply for it. No one has to enter a beauty pageant. I think it's a foolish business, but if you participate in foolishness, you owe something to those who gave you that platform. It takes some psychological grit. If you're sensitive about what people say about how you look, what are you doing there?
This is another example of anti-Trump media purporting to champion women but in fact treating them as if they are weak, fragile, not responsible for their own choices, and in need of protection. It seems to me that Trump was treating her the way he'd treat a man — holding her to her obligations and razzing her for her foibles.