(Adds comment from Univision CEO, paragraph 10)
WASHINGTON, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his decision to toss a news anchor with the Spanish-language Univision network out of a news conference, in his latest tussle with a U.S. television personality.
“I‘m not a bully,” Trump told NBC in an interview.
On Tuesday, Univision’s Jorge Ramos was removed from Trump’s news conference in Dubuque, Iowa, after the business mogul-turned-candidate said the journalist was asking a question out of turn.
“He was totally out of line last night,” Trump said of Ramos, speaking on NBC’s “Today” program.
Ramos, who has been critical of Trump’s stance on immigration, said he was waiting for his turn to ask a question on the subject when Trump ordered him out.
“He didn’t like my question and when he didn’t like my question then he motioned so the one security guard would come where I was and then threw me out of the press conference,” Ramos told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
The dust-up was the latest involving a television anchor and the outspoken Trump, who also has faced criticism for his war-of-words with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly after that network’s recent Republican presidential debate.
Trump is locked in a legal battle with Univision over the network’s recent decision to cancel its contract to broadcast the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, co-owned by Trump, after he made controversial remarks about undocumented Latino immigrants.
Trump has called for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, deporting illegal immigrants and ending birthright citizenship.
In a statement on Wednesday night, Univision Chief Executive Officer Randy Falco said Trump’s treatment of Ramos at the news conference was “beneath contempt,” adding, “Mr. Trump demonstrated complete disregard for him and for the countless Hispanics whom Jorge seeks to represent through press questions that are at the heart of the First Amendment.”
Ramos has been vocal about Trump’s stance on immigration, telling CNN earlier this month that it was “not only disgraceful but dangerous,” while fueling some criticism about his work as an objective journalist.
“He has to explain how he wants to deport 11 million people,” Ramos told ABC on Wednesday. “As journalists, we are not only required but we are forced to take a stand and clearly when Mr. Trump is talking about immigration in an extreme way, we have to confront him.”
Reporting by Susan Heavey; Additional reporting by Peter Cooney; Editing by Paul Simao and Leslie Adler