Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wrangled with Univision anchor Jorge Ramos over his immigration policies in an extended — and occasionally personal — exchange, leading to the journalist's temporary removal during a news conference in Iowa Tuesday night.
In an interview on NBC's "Today" show Wednesday Trump said Ramos was "totally out of line last night" and that he was "ranting and raving like a madman."
Ramos, the Miami-based anchor and journalist for the prominent Spanish-language network, was ejected from the event after attempting to engage with the GOP front-runner as he recognized another reporter.
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“Sit down, you weren’t called,” Trump told him. “Go back to Univision.”
Ramos proceeded to question Trump on his proposal to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants. As the two spoke over one another in a testy back-and-forth, Trump's security detail approached the Mexican-American journalist and escorted him out of the room.
"You cannot build a 1,900-mile wall," Ramos continued on his way out.
The exchange prompted several reporters to ask Trump about the incident. The real estate mogul said, “You can’t just stand up and scream,” noting that Ramos spoke out of turn.
On Wednesday, Trump told "Today's," Matt Lauer, "I was asking and being asked a question from another reporter. I would have gotten to (Ramos) very quickly. He stood up and started ranting and raving like a madman."
Lauer asked Trump why he lets people get under his skin, and suggested that his renewed feud with Fox News host Megyn Kelly reflects badly on him.
"I'm not a bully," he said about public perceptions. "In fact, I think it's just the opposite way."
Trump said he proved that point when Ramos was eventually allowed to return to the presser.
Trump called on Ramos to ask a question.
“Good to have you back,” Trump said before Ramos fired a series of questions on the billionaire’s controversial immigration policies.
"Your immigration plan, it is full of empty promises," Ramos began. "You cannot deny citizenship to children born in this country."
"Why do you say that?" Trump replied. "Some of the great legal scholars agree that's not true."
Citizenship for infants born in the United States is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment, and changing that would require amending the Constitution.
Ramos later asked Trump about the feasibility of building a wall extending the length of the U.S.-Mexico border. The real estate mogul responded that he’s a “builder,” adding that it is more complicated to build a “building that’s 95 stories tall.”
"We'll have a border, and we'll have a wall. And the wall's going to have a big beautiful door where we can let in people," Trump said.
The National Association for Hispanic Journalists condemned Trump for letting Ramos be ejected for what its president said was simply trying to hold the GOP candidate accountable to his own prior statements.
"Mr. Ramos was doing what journalists have done for decades – asking questions!" said Mekahlo Medina, a KNBC reporter serving as president of the NAHJ, in a statement posted to the organization's website.
Trump is in Iowa to host a 'Make America Great Again' rally at the Grand River Center in Dubuque.