Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump clashed with Univision anchor Jorge Ramos at a press conference in Dubuque, Iowa, on Tuesday, leading to journalist's temporary removal from the event.
"Sit down, you weren’t called. Go back to Univision," Trump said as Ramos tried to ask a question that the candidate saw as being out of turn. Trump continued to shut down the Mexican-American journalist, leading Ramos to be escorted out of the room by security. Ramos returned later to ask two questions.
“You can’t just stand up and scream. He’s obviously a very emotional person. So I have no problem with it,” Trump said later as another reporter asked about the incident.
The Republican candidate has nettled immigration advocates ever since declaring during his presidential announcement in June that Mexico was sending criminals and rapists across the border. Trump has since released an immigration plan, part of which he has said includes making the Mexican government pay to build a wall at the border.
Tuesday's tense exchange with Ramos prompted another reporter to also ask about what happened only minutes prior. “Certainly he was not [chosen],” Trump responded. “He just stands up and starts screaming, so maybe he’s at fault."
The business mogul, who held a rally after the press conference, insisted that the journalist was “out of order,” adding that he “would have taken his question” and had no problem if Ramos wanted to return. When the journalist came back into the room, Trump took a question from him, adding, "It's good to have you back."
As the candidate answered Ramos' question on immigration policy and recent controversy around the term "anchor babies," Trump shot back, "I have a bigger heart than you do."
After taking questions from other reporters, Trump returned to Ramos, and their second exchange quickly turned to the $500 million lawsuit Trump filed against Univision, which canceled its contract with the businessman to air the Miss Universe beauty pageant. Trump then reiterated that he has the support of the Latino community.
"Do you know how many Latinos work for me? Do you know how many Hispanics are working for me? They love me," Trump declared. "Do you know many Latinos work for me? Thousands. Do you know how many have worked for me over the years? Tens of thousands."
In his characteristic bombastic form, Trump has spent the past 24 hours boasting of his poll numbers, which continue to show him in a strong front-runner status in the Republican field. During the confrontation with Ramos, Trump pointed to recent polls out of Nevada, a state with a large Latino population. When Ramos admitted he hadn't seen the poll, Trump quickly changed his tune.
"He's an honest guy. Now I like him," the candidate said. "We’ll continue to talk over the years."
The heated incident in Iowa on Tuesday came amid Trump’s ongoing feud with another journalist — Fox News’ Megyn Kelly. The candidate began criticizing Kelly after the Republican debate in early August, and renewed attacks against Kelly on Monday night, when he launched a series of tweets slamming the anchor, despite a reported truce between him and Fox News president Roger Ailes. The contentious relationship came to head on Tuesday as Ailes released another statement backing Kelly.
One of the very first questions Trump fielded on Tuesday evening in Iowa related to Kelly. "It’s a very small element in my life, Megyn Kelly. I don’t care about Megyn Kelly," Trump said. He continued by saying the network had treated him "terribly."
"I have a lot of respect for Roger," Trump said. "I think they cover me terribly, and I’m winning by double digits in every poll. I don’t think I get good coverage from Fox."
Trump ended his press conference saying, "People are shocked at how smart I am."