“[Zhu] is a patriot who has continued to stand for American values despite being stripped of her crown,’ the Trump campaign tweeted on Thursday.
The announcement came shortly after Zhu, a University of Michigan student and president of her campus’ College Republicans chapter, posted about the Miss World America pageant’s decision to strip her of her title.
“Miss World America’s State/National/Chief Director accused me of being racist, Islamaphobic, and insensitive,” Zhu tweeted earlier in July. The pageant had apparently seen social media posts about her aversion to hijabs and statistics on crime in the African American community.
The termination letter, which Zhu posted on her Twitter timeline, claimed she violated the pageant’s requirement to be “of good character and … not likely to disrepute Miss World America or any person associated with the organization.”
Since the letter, Zhu has been outspoken about the incident, indicating that the pageant overlooked critical context surrounding her posts. She also stood by her statements and pushed back on the idea of beauty pageants disqualifying contestants because of their opinions.
“Everything that I’ve posted was my statistics and opinions, and I think that we should be empowering women’s voices and not just stripping them of their title only because of their opinions,” she said during an interview with CNN.
Zhu, 20, has also been bold in her support of the president, tweeting supportive posts and criticizing high-profile Democrats.
“I am so excited to now be part of the #WomenforTrump Coalition Advisory Board!,” she tweeted Thursday. “Let’s get Trump re-elected for 2020.”