Trump Rigged Miss Universe Pageants To Help His Business: Report
A new report claims that President Donald Trump used to regularly rig his Miss Universe pageants to favor women from countries where he was doing business deals.
Some former Miss Universe contestants told The New Yorker that Trump often talked with them about business deals that he did in their countries.
A former contestant from Canada, Adwoa Yamoah, recalled:
He made comments about every girl: “I’ve been to that country. We’re building a Trump Tower there.” It was clear the countries that he liked did well. He’d whisper to Paula about the girls, and she’d write it down. He basically told us he picked nine of the top fifteen.
A former contestant from Singapore, Shi Lim, said:
The finalists were picked by Trump. He was really in charge. We called it the Trump card.
A former contestant from Jamaica, Kerrie Baylis, added:
The list looked like the countries that Donald Trump did business with, or wanted to do business with.
One Miss Universe judge said several of the finalists, whom he and his fellow judges had picked during the 2013 pageant, did not make it to the official list of winners because Trump allegedly made his own choices:
I was shocked. I didn’t know what had happened. I felt ridiculous.
A Miss Universe spokeswoman said that the pageant rules allowed the company, including Trump, to participate in naming the finalists.
Trump co-owned the Miss Universe, Miss U.S.A. and the Miss Teen U.S.A. pageants from 1996 to 2015,
The New Yorker notes that Trump appears to run his presidency the way he ran the Miss Universe contest:
Miss Universe represents a paradigmatic example of Trump’s business style in action—the exaggerations that teeter into lies, the willingness to embrace dubious partners, the hunger for glamour and recognition. Trump got away with this kind of behavior for decades, and he played by the same rules during his run for the Presidency.