Donald Trump is not fit to be president of the United States. That much was amply established even before he launched his effort to buy the presidency earlier this month. But if there was ever any doubt that he is manifestly unqualified for the presidency, it should have been erased yesterday. Apparently, Trump thought it would be a good idea to plaster the private cell phone number of Univision anchorman Jorge Ramos to his followers on Instagram and Twitter.
Trump and Univision, the largest Spanish-language television network in the nation, have been in a very public pissing contest since Trump declared earlier this month that he would build a wall along the Mexican border to keep “rapists” and criminals out of the country. In response, Univision cut all ties with the Miss Universe Organization, which is a joint venture between the Trump Organization and NBC Universal. Univision had been set to air the Spanish-language broadcast of the Miss USA pageant in July. An outraged Trump has threatened to sue Univision for breach of contract and defamation. He claimed that Univision not only mischaracterized his words, but backed out of what he described as an “iron-clad” contract to air the pageants.
In an apparent effort at offering an olive branch, Ramos wrote Trump asking him to sit down for an interview, even offering to fly to New York for the interview. Ramos is the anchor of Univision’s flagship newscast, “Noticiero Univision,” and his standing in the Latino community is comparable to those of the Big Three network anchors, as well as those of Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Anderson Cooper, and Shepard Smith. Indeed, his newscasts often beat those of the Big Three newscasts in markets with large Latino populations. Ramos even provided his cell phone number in case Trump wanted to “talk first over the phone.”
On the face of it, it was an 18-karat gold chance for Trump to clear the air with Univision and reach out to Latino voters. Well, Trump screwed up that chance eight ways to Sunday. He blasted out a copy of Ramos’ letter to his followers on both Instagram and Twitter, saying that Ramos was “begging me for interviews” even though his bosses at Univision supposedly wanted nothing more to do with him. Ramos’ cell phone number was completely unredacted.
Even by Trump’s standards, this was simply outrageous. Whatever beef he may have had with Univision, posting a private cell phone number on social media is beyond the pale. When the most benign interpretation is that Trump simply didn’t make sure the number was redacted before hitting the “post” button, that’s not a good sign. To put this in perspective, can you imagine if a Democratic presidential candidate plastered a Fox News personality’s private cell phone number online? Or if a Republican presidential candidate plastered Maddow’s private cell phone number online?
By Saturday morning, both the Instagram post and the tweet had been deleted. There’s no word on whether Instagram and Twitter rightly considered the posts to be violations of their terms of service and deleted them, or if Trump deleted them himself. Neither Univision representatives nor Trump have commented on the matter as of yet. Trump should count himself very lucky that Ramos wasn’t bombarded by harassing calls or anything else untoward happened to him before the posts were deleted. Had that been the case, running for president would have been the least of his concerns.
If Trump has anything left in him, he will get out of the race and get out of the race now–but not before issuing a full and unreserved apology to Ramos for this sleazy move. This sort of behavior has no place in civilized discourse. Period, full stop.