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Mon Feb 19, 2018, 11:57 AM

Trump rigged Miss Universe pageants to favor countries where he had business interests


Trump's Miss Universe Gambit

For years, he used his beauty pageants to boost business interests abroad. A 2013 contest, in Moscow, may also have helped give him the Presidency.

By Jeffrey Toobin

The first-round results of the 2013 Miss Universe pageant seem to have come as a surprise to some of the competition’s judges, who thought that they would declare the finalists. The seven judges of the pageant’s preliminary round were charged with winnowing eighty-six contestants to fifteen finalists. Divided into two groups, they had brief conversations with each of the contestants, who then paraded onstage, first in bathing suits, then in evening gowns. The judges—including public-relations professionals, a modelling entrepreneur, and a fashion reporter—rated each woman on such qualities as “appearance” and “personality,” after which the ballots were whisked away. “They told us not to share how we voted with each other, but we did anyway,” one of the preliminary judges told me. When the finalists were announced, he said, the winners included several who hadn’t been selected. “I was shocked,” the judge told me. “I didn’t know what had happened. I felt ridiculous.” The contestants were not so naïve—they understood who was in charge.

From 1996 to 2015, Donald Trump co-owned the Miss Universe Organization, which also included the Miss U.S.A. and Miss Teen U.S.A. pageants. A day or two before a pageant began, Trump would casually visit the contestants while they conducted their final rehearsals. Former contestants told me that Trump would circulate among the young women, shaking hands and chatting with each of them, periodically turning to speak with Paula Shugart, the president of the Miss Universe Organization, who followed him at a discreet distance. (Paula Shugart declined to comment.) Adwoa Yamoah, who competed as Miss Canada in 2012, told me, “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.” Kerrie Baylis, who was Miss Jamaica in 2013, described a similar scene and added that, when the finalists were announced, “the list looked like the countries that Donald Trump did business with, or wanted to do business with.” Shi Lim, who competed that year as Miss Singapore, told me, “The finalists were picked by Trump. He was really in charge. We called it the Trump card.” (A Miss Universe spokeswoman said that the pageant rules allowed the company’s staff, including Trump, to participate in naming the finalists.)

Trump has long viewed his businesses as mutually reinforcing, with all the products—from hotels to steak, vodka to golf resorts—complementing one another. As he said in the introduction to the first episode of “The Apprentice,” the reality-television show that made him a global celebrity, “I’ve mastered the art of the deal and have turned the name Trump into the highest-quality brand.” Trump often staged the Miss Universe pageant in cities where he had other business interests, and finalists usually came from countries where Miss Universe had strong television ratings. Under Trump, the pageant was held twice in Las Vegas, twice in Florida, and twice in Puerto Rico. In the other years, Trump kept the pageant true to its origins as a swimsuit competition by setting the ceremony in warm-weather locations like Panama City, São Paulo, Quito, and Mexico City. (Although interest in beauty pageants has faded in the United States, it remains high in Latin America.) Only once did Trump steer the pageant away from temperate environments—in November, 2013, when Miss Universe took place in Russia.

Today, the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow looks like a harbinger of the Trump campaign and Presidency, featuring some of the same themes and characters. 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.

Last Friday, Robert Mueller, the special counsel, unveiled the indictment of thirteen Russian nationals, and three Russian organizations, on charges that they conspired to throw the 2016 election to Trump. Their main method, the indictment contends, was the manipulation of social media through posts by Russians operating under stolen identities. The Russians’ diction was sometimes imperfect—one Instagram post said a “particular hype and hatred for Trump is misleading the people and forcing Blacks to vote Killary”—but their goal was apparent. In the words of the indictment, the conspirators sought to provide information to the American public “supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaging Hillary Clinton.”

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https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/02/26/trumps-miss-universe-gambit

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Reply Trump rigged Miss Universe pageants to favor countries where he had business interests (Original post)
DonViejo Feb 2018 OP
Eliot Rosewater Feb 2018 #1
maveric Feb 2018 #2
underpants Feb 2018 #3
genxlib Feb 2018 #4
chowder66 Feb 2018 #5
Wounded Bear Feb 2018 #6
malaise Feb 2018 #7
Heartstrings Feb 2018 #8
Cha Feb 2018 #9

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 12:03 PM

1. Of course he did. Nothing he does is valid, legal, true or doesnt benefit him financially.

Worst human being alive who has not killed people


yet

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 12:05 PM

2. And the hits keep on coming.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 12:09 PM

3. Somewhere Steve Harvey is laughing

Rigged beauty contest huh?

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 12:50 PM

4. I would assume this is an afterthought

Perhaps something he realized would be useful at the last minute.

His real purpose for running the pageants was to collect beautiful women into a power structure under his control.

Everything else was a side benefit.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 02:23 PM

5. Prolific grifter grifting. nt

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 02:25 PM

6. Anybody really surprised by this?

Trump is capable of any method of cheating and conniving.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 02:31 PM

7. Is there anything this vile despicable deplorable scumbag

did not rig?

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Response to malaise (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 02:56 PM

8. Nope, not one damn thing

in his entire pathetic "look at me" life.....

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 03:03 PM

9. Of course he did.. & Toobin was the one who "Regretted"..

CNN's Toobin 'regrets' his role in pushing 'false equivalence' between Trump and Clinton

http://thehill.com/homenews/media/371221-cnns-toobin-says-he-regrets-his-role-in-pushing-clinton-false-equivalency

Just a reminder..

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