Donald Trump says he “can’t guarantee” that all of the workers he employs have legal status in the United States, and warned that if he were to discover any illegal immigrants working for him, “We would get rid of them immediately.”
In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday, the billionaire businessmen and Republican presidential candidate addressed questions about a recent Washington Post report that said there are illegal immigrants working at the Old Post Office Pavilion construction site in Washington, which Trump is converting into a luxury hotel.
Speaking at the Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, Trump said that the buck “absolutely” stops with him and that he wished the Post article had named the alleged illegal workers so he could take prompt action.
“We have gone out of our way to make sure that everybody in that building is legal,” he said. “I wish they would give us some names, we would get them out immediately.”
Trump, who announced his bid for the Republican Party’s nomination for president last month, has faced furious national backlash after remarking that he believes some immigrants that come into the U.S. from countries like Mexico were “rapists.” He has since repeatedly stood by those comments.
In the wide-ranging interview with CNN, Trump also addressed a racially charged tweet this week that has been heavily criticized.
Trump retweeted the message: “#JebBush has to like the Mexican Illegals because of his wife.”
According to The Wrap, which captured a screen grab of the tweet, the tweet was soon deleted.
Trump said in the CNN interview that he had never authorized that retweet but was unapologetic.
“Do I regret it? No, I don’t regret it,” Trump said.
He said that he believed the immigration stance of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is also running for president, may be influenced by his wife’s background.
“If he loves his wife and she’s from Mexico, I think it probably has an influence on him, yes. I can understand that.” Trump said.
In a separate interview with NBC News, Trump blasted the conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer, who called Trump a “rodeo clown.”
Krauthammer uses a wheelchair because of a spinal injury.
“And then I get called by a guy that can’t buy a pair of pants, I get called names? Give me a break,” he said.