Newly crowned Miss USA Olivia Jordan chalked up Donald Trump’s controversial comments about Mexican immigrants to “free speech” in an interview with Don Lemon Tuesday on “CNN Tonight.”
“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.
“The pageant is, in many ways, very separate from him and is certainly separate from the presidential race,” she said.
Jordan assured Lemon that the pageant community is very diverse and that diversity is “celebrated.” She also said that Miss Universe 2014 Paulina Vega, a native of Colombia and who recently took Trump to task over his comments, is now her roommate.
Jordan, Miss Oklahoma, was crowned the 2015 winner of the Miss USA pageant Sunday night.
NBC and Spanish-language broadcaster Univision dropped the pageant in June following comments made by Trump at a campaign event in which he referred to undocumented immigrants as “rapists.” Reelz picked up the pageant’s broadcast rights for “no more than $100,000,” as TheWrap reported exclusively.
Trump posted to Twitter that he would not attend Sunday’s ceremony because he was busy campaigning.
I will not be able to attend the Miss USA pageant tomorrow night because I am campaigning in Phoenix. Wishing all well!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2015
Reelz CEO Stan E. Hubbard told TheWrap that the network “does not endorse Trump’s comments regarding Mexicans.” Hubbard, whose father Stanley Hubbard is a regular donor to Republican political campaigns, added, “I am not a supporter of Donald Trump for president.”
Jordan is a graduate of Boston University, where she earned a B.S. in health science. She has appeared in both national and international commercials, and recently had a cameo in “Hot Tub Time Machine 2.” She claims to have watched every episode of “Friends” at least three times.