Donald Trump on Monday issued a lengthy defense of remarks he made about illegal immigrants that have cost his business empire and generated blowback from his fellow Republicans.
Trump, 69, referred to illegal immigrants from Mexico as "rapists" during his June 16 speech announcing his run for president. Several businesses partnering with the Trump brand, including Macy's, NASCAR, and NBC, broadcaster of his reality television show "The Apprentice," cut ties with him over the remarks. Some of the GOP presidential candidates also criticized Trump, saying his views are not representative of them or the Republican Party.
In a nearly 900-word statement, Trump said that he doesn't "see how there is any room for misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the statement I made on June 16...And yet this statement is deliberately distorted by the media."
Trump cited the example of a "young woman in San Francisco [who] was viciously killed by a five-time deported Mexican with a long criminal record, who was forced back into the United States because they didn't want him in Mexico."
The candidate allowed that "many fabulous people come in from Mexico and our country is better for it."
"But these people are here legally," Trump added, "and are severely hurt by those coming in illegally. I am proud to say that I know many hard working Mexicans — many of them are working for and with me…and, just like our country, my organization is better for it."
Trump said that if he had made untrue statements about Mexican illegal immigrants, it would not have taken two weeks for there to be a controversy.
"I have lost a lot during this presidential run defending the people of the United States," Trump continued. "I have always heard that it is very hard for a successful person to run for president. Macy's, NBC, Serta and NASCAR have all taken the weak and very sad position of being politically correct even though they are wrong in terms of what is good for our country."
The real estate mogul concluded by saying he wouldn't give up his presidential dreams.
Disclosure: The author's wife works as an adviser to Scott Walker.