Miss USA Defends Meeting President Trump: ‘It Was an Honor to Have a Voice’
By Movieguide® Staff
Though Asya Branch gained significant countrywide attention after she was crowned Miss USA 2020, the 22-year-old has previously had a seat at the table.
In 2018, Branch met with President Donald Trump as part of a roundtable on criminal justice reform. Despite significant backlash, Branch honored her time with the sitting president.
“It was really amazing to have that opportunity, to have a seat at such an important table, and be part of a discussion that really made a difference in our criminal justice system,” Branch told Fox News. “I was able to share my experiences as a child of an incarcerated parent and the perspective that comes with that. It led to the passage of the First Step Act, which helps rehabilitate and reacclimate inmates back into society. It was an honor to have a voice at and a seat at that table to make a difference for an issue I’m extremely passionate about.”
During her journey to the crown of Miss USA, Branch was candid about her stance on gun safety and stood firm in her belief in protecting the 2nd Amendment.
“There’s always going to be people that will agree or disagree, but my whole focus here was on the safety surrounding guns,” Branch explained. “I think it’s been misconstrued in terms of where I stand. I think it’s completely fine for judges to restrict gun ownership to someone who may pose a threat or risk to themselves or others.”
Branch continued: “But for people who don’t pose a threat to anyone, I think we should tighten up our safety and make sure they have gone through all the proper courses of safety and ensure they have all the training under their belt that’s necessary for them to have firearms. As far as military weapons, I don’t think civilians need to be in possession of those.”
The position is especially profound given that Branch’s father was arrested and incarcerated for 10 years for armed robbery and kidnapping.
Branch said that her father’s incarceration was difficult but that the military veteran still helped shape her values and beliefs and is an intricate part of her story.
“He had to retire before I was born actually because he was injured. But he always instilled in us the importance of respecting our country and respecting everyone that we encounter,” Branch said. “I feel that I developed a great respect a love for our country at an extremely young age that I still carry with me today proudly.”
Branch’s family shared in her excitement after her Miss USA win and her successful pursuit of her childhood dream.
“I’ve never seen him[my father] so proud and overjoyed. I think he actually shed a tear, too,” Branch laughed. “He’s very happy for me. This has been a dream of mine and he only wants to see me succeed. And so to see me make my dreams a reality, I think it’s really touched his heart. I think he was very happy to be a part of this dream.”