Former Miss Michigan joins Trump campaign advisory board
The woman who says she was stripped of her Miss Michigan 2019 crown for her conservative views has a new title: Women for Trump Coalition Advisory Board member.
Kathy Zhu, a University of Michigan student, said last week that Miss World America dethroned her because they found her tweets about hijabs and black on black gun violence insensitive and offensive.
However, Trump’s re-election campaign apparently found the 20-year-old’s views to align with “American values.”
“@PoliticalKathy is a patriot who has continued to stand for American values despite being stripped of her crown,” the campaign’s Twitter account wrote on Thursday.
Zhu, who is vice president of her school’s College Republicans club, said she is “so excited” to join the board.
Zhu told CNN on Monday that she stands by the views on her social media, though it appears she has deleted at least one of the posts in question.
One of the tweets she said Miss World America found inappropriate included her comments on black on black gun violence.
“Did you know the majority of black deaths are caused by other blacks? Fix problems within your own community first before blaming others,” she wrote.
Her tweet was in response to another user who had tweeted Vice President Mike Pence to say, “STOP KILLING BLACK PEOPLE !!!” regarding police violence against African-Americans.
She also came under fire for a February 2018 tweet about a hijab booth at University of Central Florida, which she attended before transferring to the University of Michigan. Though it appears Zhu has deleted the tweet, the Orlando Sentinel published a screengrab of it.
“There’s a ‘try a hijab on’ booth at my college campus. So you’re telling me that it’s now just a fashion accessory and not a religious thing? Or are you just trying to get women used to being oppressed under Islam?” the tweet reads.
Speaking to CNN, Zhu called the hijab “a sacred garment” and likened a non-Muslim wearing a hijab to a non-Catholic carrying a rosary.
“There are so many women in Muslim countries right now who are being stoned to death because they don’t want to wear a hijab … and I think we should be focusing on that,” she said. “There’s so many bad things happening in Muslim countries … and their women are being crucified for not wearing a hijab, and I think that’s really, really awful.”
In an email Zhu posted, a Miss World Michigan official said that the organization was alerted to social media posts containing “offensive, insensitive and inappropriate content” in violation of pageant rules that require contestants to be of good character and not bring the organization into disrepute.
“MWA does not recognize you as a participant of any sort or in any capacity,” the email says, ordering Zhu to remove all references to participating in the pageant from her social media accounts.
CNN was not able to independently confirm the authenticity of the emails and texts posted by Zhu.
CNN’s Eliott McLaughlin, Natasha Chen and Alisyn Camerota contributed to this report.