Escalating feud, Donald Trump bans Univision employees from Doral resort

Donald Trump and then-Miss Universe Gabriela Isler talk during a news conference last October in Doral. He’s now running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
Donald Trump and then-Miss Universe Gabriela Isler talk during a news conference last October in Doral. He’s now running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. AP

In the case of Univision vs. Donald Trump, a good fence does not make good neighbors.

The Spanish-language television network’s headquarters happen to be adjacent to Trump’s ritzy golf resort in Doral. And now Trump, upset that Univision broke off its deal with his Miss Universe beauty pageant as a result of the real-estate magnate’s offensive comments about Mexicans, has issued an edict of his own: No Univision employees can set foot on his resort next to their offices.

“Dear Randy,” Trump, a 2016 Republican presidential candidate, wrote Friday to Univision Chief Executive Randy Falco. “Please be advised that under no circumstances is any officer or representative of Univision allowed to use Trump National Doral, Miami — its golf courses or any of its facilities.”

No biggie, as far as Univision corporate is concerned: The company had already directed its workers Thursday to steer clear of Trump’s real estate. Employees “should not stay at Trump properties while on company business or hold events/activities there,” the company advised.

They could still go during their personal time, though. Trump doesn’t want them around, but it’s unclear how his staff would identify Univision workers in order to kick them out.

The feud did not end there.

Trump on Friday also called for Alberto Ciurana, Univision’s president for programming and content, to resign. On Thursday, Ciurana posted a meme on Instagram showing a close-up of Trump side-by-side with a close-up of Dylann Roof, the man accused of killing nine churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, last week. Their hair colors and styles in the photos appeared similar.

Amid the backlash, Ciurana took down his post, which read “No comments.” He later wrote, “I’m Mexican who was very upset by Mr Trump’s recent comments about Mexican immigrants, but I should not have re-posted the photo.”

Not good enough, Trump said.

“Apology not accepted,” the candidate said in a statement. “I call for his resignation as president of Univision and Univision should not be allowed to host the Presidential debate. It is a total conflict of interest.”

The Republican Party had shut Univision out of its candidate debates. The network announced this week that it plans to host a “forum” in conjunction with The Washington Post some time before a slew of primaries scheduled for March 2016.

Univision declined to comment on Ciurana’s post or Trump’s resignation request. The company said Thursday its news division will continue to cover the presidential race, including Trump’s celebrity candidacy, which has so far resembled one of his reality TV shows more than a presidential campaign.

His bombastic June 16 announcement included remarks ranging from the bizarre (“I like China. I just sold an apartment for $15 million. Am I supposed to dislike ’em?”) to the downright false (calling U.S. gross domestic product “below zero”). None stirred more trouble among Hispanic voters the GOP has been struggling to court than his diatribe against Mexicans immigrants.

“They’re bringing drugs,” he said. “They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” (Then, he added: “Some, I assume, are good people.”)

In his letter to Falco on Friday, Trump asked Univision to “immediately stop work and close the gate which is being constructed between our respective properties. If this is not done within one week, we will close it.”

No such gate appears to be under construction, however, though one may have at one point been proposed or planned. Univision employees have to drive to Trump National, and vice versa — or walk the two miles from one property’s entrance to the other.

Trump posted a series of anti-Univision tweets Friday, including one calling for a boycott of the network, which attracts the most Spanish-language viewers in the world. He also posted to Instagram a photo of a handwritten note dated Thursday and purportedly sent by star Univision anchor Jorge Ramos asking Trump for an interview. It included Ramos’ personal cellphone number.

“Univision said they don’t like Trump yet Jorge Ramos and their other anchors are begging me for interviews,” the post read.

Trump concluded his letter to Falco by blasting him because “you didn’t have the courage to call me yourself.” He also included a post-script continuing his claim that Univision is somehow acting on behalf of the Mexican government.

“P.S.,” Trump wrote. “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.”

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