Donald Trump Defends His Immigration Stance Amid Miss Universe Controversy: 'I Don't Have a Racist Bone in My Body'

The presidential candidate tells PEOPLE he sticks by his controversial comments

Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty

Amidst growing backlash over his controversial comments about Mexican immigration during his presidential campaign announcement, Donald Trump tells PEOPLE he’s standing by his words.

“I love the Mexican people and have great respect for Mexico,” Trump says. “But Mexico has totally taken advantage of the United States, both at the border and at trade. I’m exposing the truth.”

As for the disparaging things he said about undocumented immigrants – that Mexican immigrants are “bringing drugs they’re bringing crime they’re rapists” – the real estate mogul and reality star remains unapologetic.

“There is nothing to apologize for. Many bad people are pouring through. I’m not saying just Mexican, many bad people. All you have to do is ask the border patrol,” Trump says. “I don’t have a racist bone in my body. I’m just exposing things that everybody knows is happening, but nobody wants to talk about.”

Following his comments, Spanish-language TV station Univision announced it is “ending the company’s business relationship with the Miss Universe Organization,” which Trump owns. And in a statement obtained by PEOPLE, NBC, which airs the pageant in English, said “Donald Trump’s opinions do not represent those of NBC, and we do not agree with his position on a number of issues, including his recent comments on immigration.”

“NBC has been a tremendous friend and partner,” Trump says of the network that also airs his family’s reality show, The Apprentice. As for Univision, “They do most of their business in Mexico,” he says. “They’re trying to silence me. The border is a disaster, and they don’t want me to expose that.”

In the face of all this, Trump says he’s still optimistic about his run to become the Republican nominee.

“I can’t tell you what’s going to happen six months from now,” he says. “As you know the polls have been extraordinary.”

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