Tara Conner, a former Miss USA in 2006, praised President Trump for his actions a decade earlier when, as the owner of the pageant, he provided her with a life-saving, life-altering, second chance.
Conner found herself embroiled in scandal when she tested positive for cocaine and was caught drinking despite being underage that year.
Many at the time speculated that she would be stripped of her title, but Trump surprised everyone when he didn’t rush to judgment and expressed concern for Conner’s well-being instead.
“First and foremost he is concerned about Tara and wants to do what is best for her,” Trump’s office said at the time. “Then he will think about what is best for the very successful Miss USA pageant.”
When the decision came down, spectators were surprised once again, with Trump allowing her to retain the title of Miss USA provided she enter a drug rehab program.
Conner feels that decision saved her life.
In a USA Today column in 2017, Conner explained what happened.
“I became famous as ‘Mess USA’ when my boss — now the president of the United States — tossed me into rehab after I tested positive for cocaine,” she wrote. “Rather than strip me of my crown or add to the negative press with a humiliation campaign, Donald Trump surprised me, and shocked the world, when he held a news conference and declared: ‘Tara is going to be given a second chance.’”
Conner went on to say that Trump had provided an example of how employers should try to help their employees involved in addiction.
“My boss set an example for employers to help folks who, like me, would not have been able to otherwise afford treatment or even know how and where to look for help,” she wrote. “It was 10 years ago that I got out of treatment, and I thank him for my 10 years of recovery.”
She said she was a microcosm of how the President wants to make America great again.
“I will always be profoundly grateful,” Conner added.
“He saved my life and, essentially, made me great again.”