Maybe in an alternate universe.
During Wednesday’s meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, President Trump waxed poetic about the time Miss Ukraine won the Miss Universe pageant his company once owned. But that never happened.
“We had a winner from Ukraine and we really got to know the country well in a lot of ways,” Trump boasted Wednesday.
The meeting came amidst whistleblower claims and a transcript of a telephone call suggesting the president pressured Zelensky into helping him come up with negative information on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, who is a favorite to challenge Trump for the White House in the 2020 election.
It’s true Trump controlled the 67-year-old pageant for nearly two decades before selling it in 2015, though no contestant from Ukraine has ever been crowned the competition’s winner. Time magazine reports that Ukrainian beauty Olesia Stefanko was first runner-up in 2011.
The president also glossed over how it is he came to relinquish ownership of the Miss World Organization.
“When I ran for president I thought maybe it wouldn’t be the greatest thing to own the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageant, but it’s a great thing,” Trump told Zelensky.
NBC co-owned the Miss Universe pageant with Trump since 2002, but ended that business relationship in 2015 following racist comments then-candidate Trump made about Mexicans while running for office.
Trump agreed to buy NBC’s shares of the competition on Sept. 11, 2015, then sold it to IMG three days later. The president’s financial disclosure forms estimate the Miss Universe Organization to be worth “Between $5 million and $24 million” according to Business Insider.
Trump also threatened to sue the peacock network for breach of contract after they decided not to televise that year’s Miss USA pageant, according to CNN. Spanish-language network Univision also decided against showing that year’s competition, which prompted a lawsuit from Trump. That case was settled in February 2016, though terms of the agreement have been kept confidential.