Journalist Cokie Roberts raised the issue during an interview with Trump on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday, questioning him about incidents in which children reportedly told their classmates they'd be deported if the business mogul wins the presidency, and about white high school students who reportedly chanted "Build a wall!" to a rival, largely Latino high school.
"Are you proud of that?" she asked.
Trump rebuked Roberts for her question. "I think your question is a very nasty question, and I'm not proud of it because I didn't even hear of it, okay? And I certainly do not like it at all when I hear about it," he replied.
He immediately pivoted to his campaign motto, reminding the audience that his aim is to "make American great again" by revitalizing the U.S. job market.
Roberts pushed Trump to stay on topic. "When you talk about deporting people and you talk about building a wall and you talk about banning Muslims, doesn't that have an effect on children?"
Yet he continued to talk over her, specifying that it's "illegal immigrants" he wishes to deport. The border wall he's promised to build, Trump said, will have a "big, beautiful door, because we want people to come into our country."
"But what about the children, Mr. Trump?" Roberts pressed.
The business mogul didn't answer. He continued to highlight his campaign message before describing America as "troubled" because "we can't beat ISIS."
Trump has a history of shrugging off racist incidents. He missed several opportunities, for instance, to reject former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke's support for his candidacy. He has also told protesters, many of whom are minorities, to "get the hell out" of his rallies.
Author: Willa Frej