The US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce canceled a question and answer session with Donald Trump after the Republican candidate claimed to be unaware of the event. The session was scheduled to take place next Thursday, the same day that Trump has scheduled a political rally in Las Vegas.
In a phone interview with CNN Trump stated “I never agreed to do an event. This is the first time I’m hearing about this now. I mean, I never agreed.”
Members of the chamber disagree with Trump’s response, stating that he had agreed to participate in the discussion on numerous occasions. In an interview with Fox Latino News in early September, Trump stated that after a meeting with the chamber’s leader, Javier Palomarez, he had “agreed to do some kind of luncheon or whatever down in Washington.” Trump later continued that the event would take place “at some point in October or whatever.” Soon after this interview, the chamber began promoting the Q-and-A session with Trump.
The chamber had planned on asking Trump a number of questions, including issue pertaining to the economy, small business challenges, taxes, international trade, women’s rights, race relations, and immigration. Trump is not the only candidate that the chamber has interest in speaking to. They have already had events with republican contenders Sen. Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush, as well as democratic candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley.
The chamber released a statement regarding Trump’s withdrawal from the Q-and-A session. “Trump’s decision to forfeit the Q&A session was motivated by the concern of being ‘put on trial’.” They continued on to state that he “would have been treated no differently than other candidates… Withdrawing from the Q&A can only suggest that Trump himself believes his views are indefensible before a Hispanic audience”Trump’s campaign was quick to fire back, claiming that the chamber was trying to exploit Trump and villainize him for the media. In a concluding statement, Trump’s campaign stated “Mr. Trump remains committed to reaching out to the Hispanic Community in more genuine and productive ways as he continues to share his vision to Make America Great Again.”
Trump’s relationship with the chamber has already been rocky up to this point. He has not been shy about making his opinions on Mexican immigrants known, calling them “rapists” and “criminals”. This latest event has only further complicated relations between Trump and the chamber.