Over a decade ago, Donald Trump helped a transgender woman compete in a Miss Universe pageant when he owned the organization — before the former president said Sunday that “God created two genders” as he sets his sights on retaking the White House in 2024.
In videotaped remarks for the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition’s 23rd Annual Spring Kick-Off on Sunday, Trump vowed he would “defeat the cult of gender ideology” at a time when transgender rights have become a contentious political debate in the US.
“We will defeat the cult of gender ideology, and we will reassert the timeless truth that God created two genders, male and female,” he said. “We will defend our culture. We will reassert the Judeo-Christian values of our nation’s founding.”
But Trump’s actions in 2012 appeared to be in contrast to weekend statements when he overruled the rejection of Jenna Talackova, a transgender beauty queen who entered the Miss Universe Canada competition.
Talackova, then 23, was originally denied because she was not born a biological female, according to a past report.
Talackova underwent gender reassignment surgery at 19 and held legal documents that affirmed her identity was a woman when pageant organizers disallowed her from competing, alleging she had “falsified on her application when she said she was born female,” Reuters reported at the time.
Organizers also said that Miss Universe Organization “has rules which apply to all of its franchises around the world.”
She and her lawyer at the time, Gloria Allred, called on the Miss Universe organization to nix the rule that mandated contestants be “naturally born” females.
But by then, pageant organizers already reversed course, allowing Talackova to compete at the behest of Trump, who was president and owner of the Miss Universe pageant, Reuters reported.
“As long as she meets the standards of legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, which we understand that she does, Jenna Talackova is free to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant,” Michael Cohen, then-special counsel to Trump and executive vice president of his business group, said at the time.
“Nobody is capitulating. Rather the Miss Universe organization is respecting the laws of Canada,” Cohen told Reuters, adding that she, “like all the other contestants, is wished the best of luck by Mr. Trump.”
The relationship between Cohen and Trump has greatly soured since with Trump recently suing Cohen for $500 million.
Trump, in an April 2012 video statement reported on by Fox News Digital, commented on the controversy around Talackova, saying at the time it’s become a “big, big story.”
“We let her in,” Trump said. “Let’s see what happens. Maybe she’ll do well, maybe she won’t.”
He added if she won, she’d advance to the Miss Universe contest.
“Everybody wants to be Miss Universe,” he said.
Days later, the Miss Universe organization said it would change its policy to let transgender women compete starting in 2013 after conferring with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLADD), Fox News reported.
Fast forward to Trump’s Sunday comments, he vowed to sign an executive order that would cut federal funding to schools that push “critical race theory, transgender insanity, and other inappropriate racial, sexual or political content on our children.”
“As president, I will sign a new executive order instructing every federal agency to cease the promotion of sex and gender transition at any age,” Trump stated. “I will then ask Congress to send me a bill prohibiting child sexual mutilation in all 50 states, and I will keep men out of women’s sports.”
He also vowed last week at the NRA Convention to direct the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to “investigate whether transgender hormone treatments and ideology increase the risk of extreme depression, aggression and even violence,” Fox News reported.