August 30th, 2015
03:18 PM ET

Univision anchor Jorge Ramos on Donald Trump: "...we have to take him seriously, because - the structure of the US - might be completely transformed if he becomes president.

Today on CNN’s Reliable Sources, Univision and Fusion Networks anchor, Jorge Ramos, joined host Brian Stelter to discuss Ramos’ ejection from Donald Trump’s press conference in Iowa on Tuesday, following his challenging questions to Trump on immigration – which received mixed reactions from Ramos’ colleagues.   They also discussed whether Ramos believes Trump could become the next president, as well as why Ramos says Donald Trump’s overall treatment of journalists during his campaign is “dangerous to press freedom.”

Reliable Sources airs Sundays, 11 a.m. to noon (ET).

A video, text highlights, and a full transcript from the show are available below.

MANDATORY CREDIT for reference and usage: “CNN’s RELIABLE SOURCES”

VIDEO:

Ramos: "I take Donald Trump very seriously"

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS:

Univision and Fusion Networks anchor, Jorge Ramos, explains why Donald Trump’s actions toward the press could be “dangerous to press freedom”: …what is completely out of line is that a reporter is ejected from a press conference simply for asking a question.  That's, from my point of view, completely out of line.  And I think it is dangerous for press freedom in this country.  I cover many issues in many countries – and this is the kind of thing that you see in dictatorships, but not in the United States of America.  …he acted in an incredibly authoritarian way.  …And that's dangerous for press freedom in the United States...  I think the way he is attacking other journalists, among them our colleagues from FOX News, the way he censored the Des Moines Register reporter from coming into that press conference - that is a kind of behavior that I have never seen in the United States – that I have seen in dictatorships…

Ramos on whether there’s a possibility that Trump could become the next president: Of course.  As any other American, he has a possibility of becoming president.  I take Donald Trump very seriously, very seriously.  I think it's a huge mistake not to take him seriously, because of the things that he is saying.  And we have to take him seriously, because the impact, the structure of the United States, the fabric of life in the United States might be completely transformed if he becomes president.

Ramos on whether he sought a fight with Trump during his press conference: Of course not.  I never expected that – he was going to expel me from the press conference.  I have been a journalist for 30 years, and I have never been rejected or expelled from a press conference.  And I – knew he was going to be tough.  I knew he – wasn't going to like it.  But I never expected that, instead of answering my question, he was going to call his security detail to throw me out.

Ramos’ response to his colleagues who criticized his exchange with Trump: …when it comes to human rights - and immigration rights are human rights - when it comes to the fact that a presidential candidate is attacking a whole community, when it comes to the fact that a presidential candidate is stereotyping a community, I think we have the right to ask tough questions. …they can say whatever they want, and they can - this is a free country… …But I will continue asking tough questions to the presidential candidate who is ahead in the polls.

FULL TRANSCRIPT:

THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN HOST: Jorge, thank you for joining me.

RAMOS:  Thank you.  Thanks for inviting me again.

STELTER:  Tell me the story behind the story.  I know you went to Iowa because you felt Trump had been ignoring your interview requests.  Did you expect to get kicked out of the press conference?  Were you maybe seeking a fight like the one you had with Trump?

RAMOS:  Of course not.  I never expected that he would - that he was going to expel me from the press conference.  I have been a journalist for 30 years, and I have never been rejected or expelled from a press conference.  And I - I knew he was going to be tough.  I knew he didn't - he wasn't going to like it.  But I never expected that, instead of answering my question, he was going to call his security detail to throw me out.  The important thing is that what is completely out of line is that a reporter is ejected from a press conference simply for asking a question.  That's, from my point of view, completely out of line.  And I think it is dangerous for press freedom in this country.

I cover many issues in many countries all around the planet, and this is the kind of thing that you see in dictatorships, but not in the United States of America.

STELTER:  That's very strong language, that we see this in dictatorships.  You really don't think that, if Trump was president, that people would be kicked out of the White House Briefing Room, do you?

RAMOS:  Well, we don't know.  That's exactly what he did to me.  And he acted in an incredibly authoritarian way.  That's exactly what he did.  And that's dangerous for press freedom in the United States, what he did.  I think the way he is attacking other journalists, among them our colleagues from FOX News, the way he censored the Des Moines Register reporter from coming into that press conference - that is a kind of behavior that I have never seen in the United States, that I have seen in dictatorships, but never here.

And that's something that we have to be aware of, absolutely.  And, look, as a reporter, as an immigrant, as a U.S. citizen, I have the right in this country to ask any question to anyone.  And if he doesn't want to answer, that's fine.  But, also, I want to emphasize that I waited for my turn.  There were two reporters before me who asked a question. Then I said, I have a question on immigration.  And nobody said anything.  There was no other reporter who wanted to ask.  I stood up.  And then he started listening to my question.  And then he tried to stop me when he realized that he didn't like the question.  He called on another reporter. And, of course, I kept on asking my question.  He told me to sit down.  And I wasn't going to sit down.

STELTER:  Were you surprised there wasn't more of a movement of solidarity among the reporters in the room, if you were going to be kicked out, they were going to leave too?

RAMOS:  Some reporters left.  The reporter from The New Yorker left.  And what I know, for sure, is that there were two reporters, Kasie Hunt from MSNBC and Tom Llamas from ABC News, who pressed Donald Trump and told him first that I had been as tough with President Obama and Democrats as I have been with him.

And then Kasie Hunt, I understand, asked Donald Trump to allow me to come back to the press conference.  So I - I don't know about the other reporters, but I know for sure that Kasie Hunt and Tom Llamas challenged Donald Trump.  And thanks to them - and I already thanked them personally - thanks to them, I was able to come back in and ask my questions.

STELTER:  There has been quite a backlash to your exchange with Trump.  Here's a few of the comments I saw on television from some prominent television commentators.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC:  The guy was making a political - you got a question to ask, ask a question.  If you want to make a political statement, you can hold your own press conference.

JESSE WATTERS, FOX NEWS:  I think Ramos acted like an illegal alien and got treated like one.  He cut the line...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Jesse Watters...

WATTERS: ...was disruptive, and then was deported.  And Trump let him back in.  Isn't that his policy?

BILL O'REILLY, HOST, THE O'REILLY FACTOR:  Jorge Ramos has now become an advocate for people who enter the U.S. illegally.  And that's superseded his job as a journalist.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STELTER:  What do you make of that, Jorge, given that you're saying our job is to be aggressive and ask tough questions?

(CROSSTALK)

RAMOS:  Absolutely.  And that's - that's our job.  And in some instances...

(CROSSTALK)

STELTER:  But they're saying it's not.  They're saying that you are an advocate.  They're saying you are an activist.

RAMOS:  In some instances - Brian, in some instances - well, in some instances, again, when it comes to human rights - and immigration rights are human rights - when it comes to the fact that a presidential candidate is attacking a whole community, when it comes to the fact that a presidential candidate is stereotyping a community, I think we have the right to ask tough questions.  And...

STELTER:  So, are these guys that are criticizing you, Bill O'Reilly and Joe Scarborough, are they not real journalists?

(CROSSTALK)

RAMOS:  Many times, we have to take a stand, Brian.

STELTER:  Are they not real journalists?

RAMOS:  Excuse me?

STELTER:  If they're so critical of you being a tough reporter, are they not reporters?  What do you make of these guys going after you?

RAMOS:  I mean, they can say whatever they want, and they can - this is a free country, and I think it's fantastic that we have the possibility of having this debate.  If we were in Mexico, if we were in some countries in Latin America or in the Middle East, we would be dead.  So it's great that we have the possibility of having - of having this debate.  But I will continue asking tough questions to the presidential candidate who is ahead in the polls.

STELTER:  My last question for you, since you are going to be covering the news on Univision and Fusion for many years to come, is there any chance you think Donald Trump could actually be elected president?

RAMOS:  Of course.  As any other American, he has a possibility of becoming president.  Of course he has the possibility.  And...

STELTER:  But a real chance?  You think it's not just a joke campaign, not just entertainment, not just a sideshow?  You think you might actually be interviewing President Trump someday?

RAMOS:  I take Donald Trump very seriously, very seriously.  I think it's a huge mistake not to take him seriously, because of the things that he is saying.  And we have to take him seriously, because the impact, the structure of the United States, the fabric of life in the United States might be completely transformed if he becomes president.  I take him very, very seriously.

STELTER:  Jorge Ramos, thank you so much for being here.

RAMOS:  Brian, thanks so much.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STELTER:  And check out more on my interview with Ramos on CNNMoney.com.

###END INTERVIEW###


Topics: Brian Stelter • CNN • Reliable Sources
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