Trump: Miss Cali Stays
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2009 10:51 AM CDT
Miss North Carolina Kristen Dalton, left, and first runner-up Miss California Carrie Prejean from San Diego react after Dalton is announced Miss USA, Sunday April 19, 2009 in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)
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(Newser) – Donald Trump declined to fire the embattled Miss California today, TMZ reports. In a press conference, Trump, the owner of the Miss USA pageant, praised Carrie Prejean for answering a "tough" question about gay marriage 'honestly"—the same way, he noted, the president and the majority of Americans have. He said the topless photos of her that have surfaced, "some beautiful, some risqué," are perfectly “fine” for a 21st century beauty pageant.

An emotional Prejean thanked those who have supported her and "God, for trusting me with this important task." She accused Perez Hilton, the judge who asked the question, of having a personal agenda, and noted tearfully that her grandfather had fought in the Battle of the Bulge for her freedom of speech. As for the topless photos, she said some were real, some photoshopped, and others taken surreptitiously between posed shots. When asked why she didn't disclose them to pageant organizers, she said nobody could be expected to remember every photo they had taken at 17.