After months of delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, this week a new Miss USA was crowned. And while many were pleased that she is Black, some viewers were stunned to discover that she may also be a supporter of PresidentDonald Trump.
Monday, Asya Branch was crowned Miss USA 2020 in a competition that aired live from Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis.
The stunning 22-year-old succeeds another Black woman, Miss USA 2019 Chelsie Kryst. She beat out second runner-up Miss Oklahoma USA Mariah Jane Davis, and first runner-up, Miss Idaho USA Kim Layne.
Previously Branch made history as the first African American to be named Miss Mississippi USA and comes from Booneville. This is also the first time the state of Mississippi won the coveted Miss USA crown.
“I told my mom if I win Miss USA, I would have made history twice,” Branch said in an interview with Mississippi’s Daily Journal. “It’s been 10 years since Mississippi made it to the top 15 at Miss USA. I’m hoping to revise that cycle and bring the crown back home to Mississippi.”
While her achievements are undeniably impressive, some were stunned to discover that she once performed the National Anthem at a Trump rally in Southaven, Mississippi, in October 2018. She also took part in a roundtable with President Trump.
“Incredible honor to sing the national anthem tonight in Southaven for the President Trump rally,” she wrote in a since deleted Instagram post.
Keeping in line with her conservative values, the senior at the University of Mississippi spoke about gun laws in her final statement of the evening.
“As someone who grew up in a home with guns, I learned at an early age how to load, how to fire and gun safety,” Branch said. “And I think that education should be available to everyone. I believe that we should require people to pass training and safety courses before they are allowed to purchase a gun and before receiving a permit.”
“I think it’s important that we not ban guns because,” she noted. “It’s our Second Amendment right and we just need more safety surrounding that.”