NEW YORK — “Go back to Univision,” Donald Trump said when Univision anchor Jorge Ramos tried to ask a question at a Tuesday night press conference.
Security guards escorted Ramos out of the room, much to the surprise of the other reporters in attendance.
Ramos was allowed back inside about 10 minutes later. Ramos and Trump had a long, sometimes tense back-and-forth, and it ended with Trump saying, “You and I, we’ll talk.”
Ramos, who is bilingual, is often said to be the most famous Spanish-language news anchor in the United States. He has been trying to get an interview with Trump for months.
So he decided to travel to Iowa for Trump’s Tuesday evening event. Ramos and his colleagues weren’t sure if he’d be allowed into the press conference at all. Once inside, Ramos decided to stand up and ask a question without being called on.
“You haven’t been called,” Trump responded, before saying he should go back to Univision. Trump also asked Ramos to “sit down, please” before security intervened.
Trump is suing Univision for $500 million over the channel’s decision to cancel its airing of the Miss USA pageant, an event co-owned by Trump.
Univision dropped the pageant to protest Trump’s offensive remarks about Mexican immigrants being criminals and rapists.
Trump brought up the lawsuit during his later exchange with Ramos.
Ramos “did something that’s not totally uncommon for reporters to do, which is to stand up and keep asking a question, even if the person you’re asking doesn’t really want to answer it,” said CNN political reporter Sara Murray, who was at the press conference.The thrust of Ramos’ questions were about Trump’s deportation plans for undocumented aliens and calls for an end to birthright citizenship.
Afterward, a spokesman for Ramos said, “We’d love for Mr. Trump to sit down for an in-depth interview with Jorge to talk about the specifics of his proposals. We think his thoughts on the topic of immigration are important to Jorge’s viewers on Fusion and Univision.”
Trump rejected the suggestion that he had Ramos removed from his news conference.
“I didn’t escort him out. You’ll have to talk to security whoever security is,” he said.
Ramos anchors the nightly news on Univision, reaching millions of Spanish-speaking viewers, and also has an English-language program on a cable channel called Fusion.
He didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment about his nationally televised Q&A with Trump.
But he has been outspoken in the past about the importance of the Hispanic electorate. And he has tangled with Trump before. In June, Trump published Ramos’s cell phone number to prove that Univision was “begging” to interview him even while canceling the Miss USA telecast.
Ramos has also assailed Trump’s rhetoric about immigration.
Earlier this month on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” he said, “I think Donald Trump is the loudest voice of intolerance, division and hatred right now in America. What he is saying about immigrants and women is not only disgraceful, but dangerous.”
He also telegraphed his frustration about Trump’s unwillingness to come on Univision for an interview.
“I don’t understand,” Ramos said. “Is he afraid of talking to me, is he afraid of talking to Univision? Why doesn’t he want to talk to us?”