Trump, 69, ignited a firestorm when he charged that Mexican immigrants, who often enter the country illegally, are “bringing drugs … they’re bringing crime … they’re rapists.”
He drew widespread criticism, not only from the Mexican government, but also a number of top U.S. political figures including President Obama.
Trump told People three days ago he had nothing to apologize for.
“Many bad people are pouring through. I’m not saying just Mexican, many bad people. All you have to do is ask the border patrol,” he said.
“I don’t have a racist bone in my body. I’m just exposing things that everybody knows is happening, but nobody wants to talk about,” he added.
Trump has called on the Mexican government to help pay for the construction of a wall along the border or face “severe” consequences. He did not elaborate.
“I love the Mexican people and have great respect for Mexico,” he said. “But Mexico has totally taken advantage of the United States, both at the border and at trade. I’m exposing the truth.”
Univision, the large Spanish language television network, was the first to pull the plug on the Miss USA Pageant next month to protest Trump’s remarks. Trump immediately retaliated by banning network executives from his golf courses.
While Univision’s action stung, the decision by NBCUnversial, the parent of the NBC network, hit like a ton of bricks.
The network said it was severing all ties with Trump and his Miss Universe Organization. It stages the Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA pageants. It laid the action directly on Trump’s immigration comments.
“Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump,” it said in a statement.
“To that end, the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants, which are part of a joint venture between NBC and Trump, will no longer air on NBC,” it continued.
Trump is also leaving his reality show “Celebrity Apprentice,” but that’s not unexpected. He said he would quit the show if he ran for president.
About 5.5 million viewers tuned into the Miss USA Pageant last year, compared with 4.6 million in 2013, when the show faced tough competition from the Tony Awards and the NBA Finals.
Update: Trump officially responded to NBC today with the following remark: “NBC is weak, and like everybody else is trying to be politically correct. That is why our country is in serious trouble.” He threatened to sue the network for breach of contract along with Univision.
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