Newly crowned Miss USA Olivia Jordan sat down with CNN’s Don Lemon on Tuesday, speaking out about the controversial statements of pageant owner Donald Trump.
“Mr. Trump is running for president and he needs to get out issues that are important to him, and immigration is certainly a hot topic issue that everyone’s talking about. I think that it’s good to talk about immigration,” Jordan said. “He has the right to free speech and his own opinion.”
NBC and Univision both dropped the Miss USA broadcast from their schedules after Trump came under fire for comments linking Mexican immigrants to crime, leading hosts, performers, and judges to withdraw from the pageant.
Jordan, whose Miss USA platform includes issues of race relations, told Lemon, “The Miss Universe organization is a symbol of diversity, and we celebrate diversity.” Her current roommate is Miss Universe 2014 Paulina Vega, a native of Colombia who has spoken out against Trump’s comments. Jordan argued that Trump’s presidential race has no bearing on the competition itself.
“The pageant is, in many ways, very separate from him and is certainly separate from the presidential race.”