Donald Trump to skip out on Miss USA pageant for presidential campaign _lowres

FILE - In this Saturday, July 11, 2015, file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at FreedomFest in Las Vegas. Retired "Late Show" host David Letterman appeared with comedians Martin Short and Steve Martin at their live comedy show on Friday, July 10, 2015, in San Antonio, where Letterman read "Interesting facts about Donald Trump." (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

As the Miss USA contestants take center stage tonight pageant owner Donald Trump will take a stage of his own on the presidential campaign trail.

Trump tweeted he would forgo Baton Rouge Sunday night to campaign in Phoenix, Arizona.

Controversy has surrounded the pageant since Trump commented on Mexicans coming to the United States largely as criminals, rapists and drug users. Since then, the pageant lost national airtime, its hosts and performers.

This week the pageant scrambled to name new hosts, judges and performers. Reelz channel also recently announced it will broadcast the pageant, as well as local channel WBTR.