Asya Branch was crowned Miss USA 2020 on Monday in a months-delayed ceremony at Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. While some are congratulating Miss Mississippi USA, some are calling her out for her supposed support of Donald Trump.
Branch, a senior at the University of Mississippi, says her passion is criminal justice reform in her introductory video. Moreover, The Daily Beast reported she attended a 2018 roundtable discussion on the topic with the president and Jared Kushner. The 22-year-old also performed the national anthem Trump rally in Mississippi, which is causing some backlash on social media.
She wrote about the 2018 performance at the time in a now deleted Instagram post.
“Incredible honor to sing the national anthem tonight in Southaven (Mississippi) for the President Trump rally,” she wrote, according to a screenshot of the post on the Daily Beast.
Though some think the criticism is ridiculous.
Miss USA 2020 Talks Gun Rights, Political Divisions
Miss USA Aysa Branch was given the question of what she would do to bring the country back together.
“I think this is an issue of trust. We’ve lost trust in the systems that seem to keep our country running, from the media to business, to our government. … It’s all about restoring that trust and coming together and working together to heal. … If we want to continue to be the greatest nation, we’re going to have to set a better example.”
Judges asked Branch to speak on gun laws for 30 seconds during the final round of five contestants.
“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 told the judges. “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.”
She continues, “I think it’s important that we not ban guns because, obviously, people will find a way to get they want anyway. But, I think it’s our Second Amendment right and we just need more safety surrounding that.”
Branch won out ahead of second runner-up Miss Oklahoma USA Mariah Jane Davis, and first runner-up, Miss Idaho USA Kim Layne.