In a confessional-style video posted on gossip site TMZ on Thursday, Former Miss Teen USA 2006 Katie Blair, says she "never had a bad experience" with Republican candidate Donald Trump, whom she met while competing in what were, at the time Trump-owned pageants.
"I have great respect for him," Blair, 28, says in the video. "As far as the rumors, kind of, surrounding him coming into the backstage, and things like, that, dressing rooms. Absolutely not. I never experienced that."
She discussed the pace of live television, saying there is no time to "putz" around backstage during a live pageant. And Blair brought up her history with Trump, who she says defended her, along with Miss USA 2006 Tara Conner, when the two reigning pageant queens were caught up in controversy for underage drinking and using cocaine.
"I think of, like, my year with Tara," Blair said. "He stood behind us ... He lifted us up, he encouraged us."
She also defended Trump's history of making comments about women's bodies. "As far as the rumors surrounding him being judgmental and making statements in regards to women's looks and things of that nature, at the end of the day, you're in a beauty pageant," she said. "You are there to be judged for your looks. So, if you're there and not expecting to be judged by the man that owns it, I mean, that's your own misconception."
Blair's insistence that Trump never acted with any impropriety on the set of pageants runs counter to claims from four former 1997 Miss Teen USA pageant contestants that Trump entered their changing rooms while the women were changing. That's just one of a slew of accusations against Trump, including one from a People reporter, who wrote a first-person account published Wednesday detailing her sexual assault by Trump in 2005, when she went to interview him at his house.
So is Katie Blair voting for Trump? She is — but, it seems, with little enthusiasm. "I'm not going to vote for Trump in the sense that I am team Trump," she said in the TMZ video. "I'm voting, one, so it's one less vote in Hillary's favor, and two, because we have two options and, um, he is the other option."