Journalists for Univision, the largest Spanish-language television station in the United States, were removed from a Donald Trump campaign event in Florida on Friday. The news was first reported by Jorge Ramos, Univision’s flagship news anchor, on Twitter, and was later confirmed by the Hollywood Reporter. A spokesperson for the campaign claims that the Univision TV crew was barred from covering the event because “Mr. Trump is suing Univision for $500 million and until that is resolved it is a conflict of interest.”
Trump sued the popular Spanish-language network, claiming that Univision breached an agreement to broadcast Miss Universe pageants through 2019 — although it’s unclear why Trump still has a stake in this lawsuit since he sold the Miss Universe Organization in September.
Univision says it backed out of a business relationship with Donald Trump due to his description of Mexican immigrants as “rapists.” At his speech launching his campaign, Trump laid a long list of problems at the feet of these immigrants, claiming that “when Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people who have lots of problems, and they’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some I assume are good people.” Trump has since made hostility towards undocumented immigrants a centerpiece of his campaign.
Friday’s decision to lock out Univision is not the first high-profile confrontation between Trump and the network’s journalists. Last August, Ramos — an influential news anchor who has won eight Emmy Awards — attempted to ask Trump a question at a press conference. Trump told Ramos to “go back to Univision” shortly before glancing in the direction of a bodyguard who physically escorted Ramos out of the room.
Ramos was later allowed back in the room, where he asked Trump how he planned to build a 1,900 wall along the Mexican border. Trump’s response: “Very easy, I’m a builder.”