Two minutes into Donald Trump’s news conference here Tuesday night came the question he tried to silence.
“Mr. Trump, I have a question,” said Jorge Ramos, the top news anchor at Univision one of the country’s most recognizable Mexican-Americans, as he stood up in the front row of journalists.
“Excuse me,” the Republican presidential front-runner told Ramos. “Sit down. You weren’t called. Sit down.”
Ramos, holding a piece of paper, calmly tried to ask Trump about his plan to combat illegal immigration. “I’m a reporter, an immigrant, a senior citizen,” he said. “I have the right to ask a question.”
Trump interrupted him. “Go back to Univision,” he said. Then the billionaire businessman motioned to one of his bodyguards, who walked across the room and physically removed Ramos from the room.
Trump’s dismissal of a major television news anchor lit up social media. Reporters asked Trump why he removed Ramos. At first, he accused Ramos of violating his news conference protocol. “He stood up and started screaming,” Trump said of Ramos. “He’s obviously a very emotional person,” said Trump.
But moments later, Ramos returned to his seat in the front row — and Trump called on him. For five minutes, they tangled over immigration policy, an issue on which both men have passionately different views. It was one of the more compelling moments of the 2016 campaign.
“Good to have you back,” Trump told Ramos, signaling to him to begin his questioning.
“Here’s the problem with your immigration plan,” Ramos said. “It’s full of empty promises.”
Ramos pointed out it would be unconstitutional to deny citizenship to what Trump calls “anchor babies,” children born in the United States to undocumented immigrants. Trump disagreed, saying it could be done as an act of Congress and that some legal scholars argue the 14th Amendment should be changed.
“A woman’s getting ready to have a baby,” Trump said. “She crosses the border for one day, has the baby, all of a sudden for the next 80 years — we have to take care of” the child.
The next question from Ramos: How do you build a 1,900-mile wall across the U.S. border with Mexico?
“It’s very easy,” Trump said. “I’m a builder…. What’s more complicated is building a building that’s 95 stories tall.”
SOURCE: Philip Rucker
The Washington Post