Donald Trump said transgender Miss Universe hopeful Jenna Talackova is welcome to compete in the pageant, but that his organization's decision to permit her didn't have anything to do with her attorney, Gloria Allred.
In fact, he could've prevailed over her handily if he so chose.
"I did not know that she had a lawyer, and especially Gloria Allred," Trump told Good Morning America. "In fact, had I known it was Gloria Allred, we probably would not have reversed the decision because, you know, Gloria is easy to beat.”
The fact is, we went by the laws of the country and the laws are very clear and, based on that, about two days ago, we decided to let her compete."
Trump said the 23-year-old Jenna Talackova, who underwent sexual reassignment surgery at the age of 19 and was temporarily barred from the pageant, “should simply focus on running up in Canada and seeing how she does in Canada.
“And then, if she does well, she has a chance to become what many, many young women all over the world want to be and that's Miss Universe."
"That's all she should be focusing on right now."On Monday, in the wake of controversy surrounding the case, Trump Executive VP Michael D. Cohen said in a statement over Talackova’s status:
"The Miss Universe Organization will allow Jenna Talackova to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions."
Miss Universe Canada will be crowned in Toronto May 19.
Should Jenna Talackova have been disqualified?