Donald Trump plans to sue the Miss USA contestant who called his Miss Universe Organization "fraudulent" and "trashy" and said the woman suffers from nothing more than "loser's remorse."
"She made a very false charge and she knows it was a false charge," the business magnate said today on "Good Morning America, referring to Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin. "I think that, frankly, she should apologize but we will be bringing a lawsuit against her."
Monnin resigned her Miss Pennsylvania title and quit the Miss Universe Organization this week after charging that Sunday's Miss USA pageant was rigged.
"Effective immediately I have voluntarily, completely, and utterly removed myself from the Miss Universe Organization," the 27-year-old beauty queen posted on her Facebook page Tuesday. "In good conscience I can no longer be affiliated in any way with an organization I consider to be fraudulent, lacking in morals, inconsistent, and in many ways trashy."
Trump said, "It's absolutely ridiculous. She lost and if you look at her compared to the people who were in the top 15, you would understand why she's not in the top 15. It's a very, very sad situation."
Monnin said she came to believe that Sunday's Miss USA pageant was fixed when a fellow contestant said that she'd learned of the pageant's final top five ahead of the show.
"I witnessed another contestant who said she saw the list of the Top 5 BEFORE THE SHOW EVER STARTED proceed to call out in order who the Top 5 were before they were announced on stage," Monnin posted. "After it was indeed the Top 5 I knew the show must be rigged; I decided at that moment to distance myself from an organization who did not allow fair play and whose morals did not match my own."
Trump said the contestant in question, whom he declined to name, denied Monnin's account.
"My people said that they've already interviewed that person and that person said it's not true," Trump said on "GMA."
"Ernst & Young is one of the great, respected accounting firms. They do the tabulation," he said. "It's not like we care who the final contestants are. You take the 16 and you go down to 10 to five and then you have a winner and then it's all tabulated. The judges are all celebrities and they make their pick and that's the end of it."
Pageant officials Tuesday said they received an email from Monnin stating that she was resigning because of the organization's decision earlier this year to allow transgendered contestants to enter the pageant.
Jenna Talackova, a 23-year-old Canadian beauty queen who had gender reassignment surgery at 19, was originally disqualified earlier this from the competition because she was not a "naturally born female." After threats of a lawsuit and public outcry, the Trump Organization, which owns the contest, announced Talackova would be allowed to compete.
The pageant said Monnin, who hails from Cranberry, Pa., said the following in an email to organizers: "I refuse to be part of a pageant system that has so far and so completely removed itself from its foundational principles as to allow and support natural born males to compete in it. This goes against ever (sic) moral fiber of my being."
Trump said that he believes Monnin's decision is more about what happened Sunday night than about any policy decision made by his organization.
"I don't think that she had an issue with that," he said of the pageant's transgender policy. "I think her primary issue was that she lost and she's angry about losing and, frankly, in my opinion, I saw her for barely a second, she didn't deserve to be in the top 15."
Olivia Culpo of Rhode Island was crowned the new Miss USA Sunday night. Incidentally, she spoke on the topic of the admission of transgender contestants when answering the pageant's first-ever Twitter-submitted question.
"I do think that that would be fair, but I can understand that people would be a little apprehensive to take that road because there is a tradition of natural-born women, but today where there are so many surgeries and so many people out there who have a need to change for a happier life, I do accept that because I believe it's a free country," Culpo said.
Culpo, a 20-year-old cellist, will go on to represent the United States in the Miss Universe pageant.