Donald Trump Skips Miss USA Pageant for Presidential Campaign Event

Donald Trump
Donald Trump skipped the Miss USA pageant in favor of attending a presidential campaign event Steve Sands/Getty Images

Joining the boycotting masses? After weeks of drama and ensuing production shuffles, Donald Trump skipped the Miss USA pageant, held in Baton Rouge, La., on Sunday, July 12. 

As previously reported, the beauty pageant moved to the Reelz network after it was dropped by NBC and Univision, and found replacements for the hosts and judges who pulled out of the competition following Trump's headline-making words about immigrants from Mexico. The Apprentice star, 69, stood by his controversial statement in recent days, defending his choice to pin said immigrants as "rapists" and "killers."

While the Miss USA show went on, recruiting Todd Newton and Alex Wehrley as hosts and lining up a judging panel of past pageant winners, Trump chose not to attend the event in spite of his position as co-owner of the Miss Universe organization. The real estate mogul was noticeably absent from the Baton Rouge River Center as the 51 contestants strutted their stuff on the stage, choosing instead to attend a rally in support of his presidential campaign. 

"I will not be able to attend the Miss USA pageant tomorrow night because I am campaigning in Phoenix," the father of five tweeted on Saturday, July 11. "Wishing all well!"

Miss USA Hosts
Hosts Todd Newton and former Miss Wisconsin Alex Wehrley speak on stage during the 2015 Miss USA beauty pageant in Baton Rouge, Louisiana July 12, 2015. REUTERS/Adrees Latif /LANDOV

Trump continued his controversial emphasis on immigration in his speech to thousands in Phoenix, Ariz., on Saturday, adding of Mexico, "They're killing us at the border and killing us in trade." 

As the Miss USA pageant kicked off, Trump was active on Twitter but focused his attention on politics and media matters rather than the show. The field was narrowed from 51 to 15 women while the businessman targeted political competitors Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton and Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd in tweets.

 

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