GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump met Tuesday with Hispanic Chamber of Commerce CEO Javier Palomarez, saying his views on illegal immigrants have been mischaracterized, CNN
Trump blamed the liberal media for misreporting his views on illegal immigration, Palomarez told CNN. The billionaire real estate developer has long said his words during his June 16 campaign announcement were taken out of context and that he never said all Mexicans were bad people or criminals.
Palomarez said Trump requested the meeting held at his office in Trump Tower in Manhattan and that he had a very different demeanor than his outspoken public persona.
"There were no bombastic statements of any sorts," Palomarez said. "It's kind of interesting, the dichotomy between the private Donald Trump and the public Donald Trump. He listened a lot more than he spoke. He never once interrupted me."
Trump told Palomarez he wants the Hispanic vote.
"I feel like I've been mischaracterized and treated unfairly and my name has been slandered to some extent with this audience," Trump reportedly said.
The two also discussed Trump's recent dust-up with Univision anchor Jorge Ramos,
whom Trump had ejected from a recent press conference before letting him back in to debate.
"I told him that both sides were at fault," Palomarez said.
"On the one hand, it appeared Jorge spoke out of turn and somewhat commandeered the microphone, and on the other hand, this issue (of immigration) for Jorge Ramos is considerably different for him than most other journalists in the room, let's face it. And I think Donald could have done a better job of hearing him out and allowing him an opportunity to ask his questions."
Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks confirmed the meeting, but wouldn't elaborate on what was said, CNN reported.
The Hispanic Chamber, which represents 3.2 million business owners, announced its members would be boycotting all of Trump's properties following Trump's statements on illegal immigrants and his vow to build a wall across the entire Mexican border.
Trump asked whether the Hispanic Chamber was considering his Trump National Doral resort for its national convention next year, and Palomarez said he replied that the boycott is still in effect.
That said, Trump agreed during the meeting to take part in a question-and-answer session with the group on October 8.
"Agree with him or not, whether or not we are in support of him. We still don't see eye to eye with him, but that's beside the point, Palomarez told NBC News
"Our job is to remain non-partisan, to give candidates the forum so they can talk in greater detail about their policies."
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