WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — The chairman of the Republican National Committee is telling Donald Trump to tone it down.
CBS News reports Reince Priebus called the Republican presidential candidate Wednesday and asked him to soften his stance about his comments about Mexican immigrants. Trump has come under fire for saying Mexico is shipping rapists and drug dealers to the U.S.
Trump posted on Twitter Thursday that there’s been “totally false reporting” about the phone call.
“Totally false reporting on my call with Reince Priebus. He called me, ten minutes, said I hit a ‘nerve’, doing well, end!” Trump tweeted.
Despite the phone call, Trump continued on with his comments on Wednesday.
“You wouldn’t even be hearing about the word immigration if it wasn’t for Donald Trump,” the billionaire told NBC News. “I will win the Latino vote because I’m going to put them to work.”
Several companies have cut ties with Trump over his comments, including ESPN, NASCAR, Macy’s, NBC and Univision.
Celebrity chef Jose Andres also backed out of plans to open a flagship restaurant in Trump’s new hotel under construction in Washington.
Andres, a Spanish immigrant, cited Trump’s statements “disparaging immigrants” in his decision to cancel plans to open an eatery at the Trump International Hotel. Andres is known for popularizing the small dishes known as tapas in the United States.
Andres said Trump’s statements “make it impossible for my company and I to move forward.” More than half of his team is Hispanic, as are many of his restaurant guests, the chef said.
“As a proud Spanish immigrant and recently naturalized American citizen myself, I believe that every human being deserves respect, regardless of immigration status,” Andres said.
The new 270-room Trump International Hotel is being built in the historic Old Post Office Pavilion on Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and the Capitol. It is slated to open in 2016 after a $200 million redevelopment.
Donald Trump Jr., Trump’s son and a Trump Organization executive, issued a statement threatening legal action and noted that Andres has a 10-year lease. The Trump Organization would seek to recover any unpaid rent for the full 10-year term, he said.
“Our relationship with Jose Andres has always been a good one, but simply put, Jose has no right to terminate or otherwise abandon his obligations under the lease,” Donald Trump Jr. said. “We will also enforce the exclusivity provisions preventing Mr. Andres from opening a competing restaurant anywhere in the D.C area.”
On Monday, The Washington Post reported some immigrant workers at the hotel construction site said they came to the country illegally and are wary now of working for Trump.
Donald Trump was set to address the report Wednesday in an interview with CNN. Trump said that the buck “absolutely” stops with him, and he wished The Washington Post had given him names of workers who came to the country illegally.
“We have gone out of our way to make sure that everybody in that building is legal,” he told CNN. “I wish they would give us some names; we would get them out immediately.”
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