He’s been bashed in the press for body shaming former Miss Universe Alicia Machado but now another beauty queen is coming out in defense of Donald Trump.
Madison Gesiotto – who competed in the Miss USA pageant back in 2014 – has written a piece in The Washington Times explaining why she plans to vote for the Republican presidential candidate in November.
For days Trump has been defending his actions, after Hillary Clinton slammed her rival for allegedly calling Machado “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping” when she competed in his Miss Universe pageant 20 years ago.
But Gesiotto is painting a different picture of the candidate who is desperately trying to appeal to female voters.
She says the father-of-five was very “gracious” when they first met and describes him as being a “complete gentleman” when they reconnected at a conservative conference a year later. She also praises his “respectful behavior.”
The headline of her latest column for The Washington Times is: “Why I’m a Miss USA competitor supporting and inspired by Donald Trump.”
Gesiotto wrote in her op-ed this week: “I briefly met Mr Trump for the first time the night before the Miss USA telecast.
“As an aspiring entrepreneur, I had always looked up to Mr Trump for his business acumen and career successes. I had read his books when I was in college preparing to apply to law school and found him to be a fascinating leader.
“Mr Trump was very gracious. He shook my hand and we briefly discussed the Miss USA pageant and the upcoming 2014 elections.
“Of course, he smiled when I mentioned the failures of Obamacare. Before we could finish our conversation, I was rushed backstage to continue rehearsals.”
Gesiotto – who was competing as Miss Ohio at the time – says she bumped into Trump a year later when they were both attending the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
She says she tagged along as one of the newspaper’s reporters interviewed Trump, writing that she “secretly” hoped he would announce he was going to run for president.
“To my pleasant surprise, Mr Trump remembered me from Miss USA,” she wrote.
“Mr Trump was a complete gentleman. He took the time to talk to me about law school. I was close to finishing my first year at the time.”
Gesiotto says he took “sincere interest” in her and told her to “think big and never give up.” She says his words inspired her to open her own small business – Pageant Precision, which helps contestants expand their current affairs knowledge and prepare for their future careers.
She adds: “I believe that Mr Trump has the courage, integrity and respect that we have been missing in the Oval Office.”
She goes on to say: “Avoid listening to the rhetoric used against him for ratings.”
But this week other former contestants from the 1996 Miss Universe pageant have come out in support of Machado.
Former Miss Australia, Jodie Seal, told Inside Edition that Trump allegedly fat shamed her too telling her to “suck your stomach in.”
“He was calling some girls some pretty horrible names as well,” she added.
Meanwhile, Clinton bashed Trump for continuing his attacks on Machado. On Friday he tweeted: “Did Crooked Hillary help disgusting (check out sex tape and past) Alicia M become a U.S. citizen so she could use her in the debate?”
The former Secretary of State responded: “Who gets up at 3 o’clock in the morning to engage in a Twitter attack against a former Miss Universe?”