Donald Trump testified in a deposition last month that he’d planned in advance to focus his infamous campaign announcement speech on criticizing Mexican immigrants, whom he called “criminals” and “rapists.” That comment sparked a year of non-stop media attention and the termination of several of Trump’s long-standing business relationships.
Though the real estate mogul did not script that part of his rambling 45-minute campaign launch, he revealed in a June 16 closed-door deposition testimony that he intended those comments to be central to his introduction to the 2016 arena, Politico reported.
Trump is currently suing two celebrity chefs, Geoffrey Zakarian and Jose Andres, for pulling out of plans to establish restaurants at the hotel he’s constructing at the Old Post Office building in Washington, D.C. over his disparaging comments about immigrants.
“Did you give any thoughts to the effect that your statement relative to Mexicans and immigrants would have on tenants in your current or future projects?” Zakarian’s lawyer, Deborah Baum, asked Trump during his deposition in that lawsuit, according to Politico.
“No, No, I didn’t. I didn’t at all,” Trump said.
When Baum asked if the media misinterpreted those remarks, Trump replied that they were accurate, according to the report.
“I think the media is very dishonest. But all I’m doing is bringing up a situation which is very real, about illegal immigration. And I think, you know, most people think I’m right,” he said in the deposition.
Trump is suing Zakarian for a whopping $14 million for backing out of their negotiations, according to Politico.
In his own deposition, Zakarian said that Trump’s remarks were offensive both to his Latino employees and to potential customers.
“There’s reputation. There’s financial,” he said, according to Politico. “There’s…familial reasons, because moralistically speaking, all my employees are Mexicans or Hispanics, almost all of them. It’s disgraceful.”