Trump threatens lawsuit after former Miss Pa. calls pageant 'fraud'



PITTSBURGH - Pennsylvania's representative at the Miss USA pageant, Sheena Monnin, stepped down because she said the contest was rigged.  Pageant officials counter that she just disagrees with the organization's decision to allow transgender contestants.

A posting on Monnin's Facebook page dated Monday said she has resigned. In another post, Monnin claims another contestant saw the list of top five contenders on Sunday morning, hours before the pageant was broadcast.

Pageant organizers confirm Monnin, 27, has resigned, but not for the reason she claims. A statement from the organization includes text from an email it said Monnin sent citing the decision to allow natural born males into the competition as the reason she's resigning.

WPXI See & Be Seen’s Carly Noel interviewed Monnin last week before the Miss USA pageant.  Noel asked her, “What would it mean to you to represent the country as Miss USA?”

“It would be absolutely an honor,” Monnin told Noel.  "I’m very excited to be here and to be competing.   I think the main thing to remember when you’re competing is all you can do is do your best.  Only one girl can win, so I feel like I’ve been doing my best.  I’m so excited with every day unfolding.”

Donald Trump called into NBC’s “Today” and said the Miss Universe organization plans on suing Monnin.   

“The organization doesn’t care who the top five or top 10 are. What difference does it make?  It’s really disgraceful that she does it. What we’ve authorized today, we’re going to bring a lawsuit against this girl.  The person who supposedly told her about the list, that person now totally denies it, and she said there is no list, and I’ve never seen a list,” Trump told “Today.”

Trump was asked if he had met Monnin. 

“I saw her there.  My impressions were she didn’t have a chance of being in the top 15.  Not even close,” Trump told “Today.”

Trump said if Monnin doesn't apologize by Thursday he will file the suit.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.