Reigning Miss Universe Calls Donald Trump Criticism "Comical"

Paulina Vega - H 2015
Andy Kropa /Invision/AP

Paulina Vega defends her decision to keep the crown and weighs in on whether she would have competed in the pageant if she knew then what she knows now about the real estate mogul and presidential candidate.

Donald Trump labeled reigning Miss Universe Paulina Vega a "hypocrite" for keeping her crown after she called his comments about Mexican immigrants "unjust and hurtful."

But she thinks his criticism is "comical."

"I think what I’m doing is the least hypocrite thing I can do by using my voice clearly," Vega told in an exclusive interview Monday. She went on to explain that she can't just simply say she'll renounce her crown.

"I have a legally binding contract and legal relationship with the organization, and it’s not so easy for me, like the artists have done, to renounce and say, 'No. I’m not working for you anymore.' I have a contract of one year," she said. "So it’s a much more complicated situation, but we have to understand that Trump is a very polemic person. I’m going to keep going forward and refuse [to let] his comments affect me. Miss Universe the organization and I are much more than what that man says on Twitter."

She added that she's had little interaction with Trump during her seven months as Miss Universe, but he never said anything offensive in her presence.

"If he would have said something off color, I would have fainted," she added.

Knowing what she knows now about Trump, Vega said it would have been "really difficult" to decide whether to participate in the Miss Universe pageant.