Is Donald Trump backtracking on his criticism of Mexicans?

Donald Trump says he has great respect for Mexico, despite his earlier comments to the contrary.

Richard Drew/AP/File
Donald Trump launches his presidential campaign in New York on June 16, 2015.

Donald Trump’s recent comments about Mexican immigrants were widely denounced as insulting, but the presidential candidate maintains he did nothing wrong.

In an interview with ABC News, Mr. Trump insisted that he is "absolutely not" anti-Mexican. "I love the Mexican people. I have great respect for Mexico," he said. His pivot may be related to a statement from Univision, announcing that they are backing out of a $15 million deal to air the Miss USA pageant, which Trump partially owns.

In a June 16 speech announcing his 2016 campaign, Trump said: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best.... They’re sending people that have lots of problems..... They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

Later he said he is not against Mexicans, but US-Mexico trade deals and existing US immigration policies.

The Republican candidate told ABC on Thursday he does not regret what he said during his speech. “I said it about people from all over. I didn’t say it about Mexico. I said from people all over.”

He insists his remarks were not insulting, but others disagree.

On June 25 the largest American Spanish-language network, Univision, announced it will not televise Donald Trump’s annual Miss USA pageant on July 12.

Today, the entertainment division of Univision Communications Inc. announced that it is ending the Company’s business relationship with the Miss Universe Organization, which is part-owned by Donald J. Trump, based on his recent, insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants.

At Univision, we see first-hand the work ethic, love for family, strong religious values and the important role Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans have had and will continue to have in building the future of our country.

Trump says he is going to sue Univision for violating a multi-million dollar broadcast deal.

He also sent a letter to Univision on Friday banning all of the channel’s executives from using Trump's golf course in Miami.

The American tycoon added this PS to his letter to the Univision CEO:

“Please congratulate your Mexican Government officials for having made such outstanding trade deals with the United States. However, inform them that should I become President, those days are over. We are bringing jobs back to the U.S. Also, a meaningful border will be immediately created, not the laughingstock that currently exists."

Trump accuses Univision of being biased in favor of Mexico’s national interests, and even encouraged a Univision boycott.

Unlike the walled-off future Trump envisions, US-Mexico relations have grown closer in recent years, and President Obama recently said he anticipates more trade and job opportunities in both countries – a vision Trump clearly does not share.

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