Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is at odds with The New York Times after he allegedly told its editorial board in a closed-door meeting that his hard-line immigration policy is softer than he’s portraying it.
The New York Times hasn’t disclosed all of what Trump said during the meeting, BuzzFeed reports. It was partially off the record, and all candidates get a chance to pitch to the editorial board why the newspaper should endorse them.
However, rumors of what Trump said have undermined his forceful image.
Trump addressed the rumors and slammed the paper in a Feb. 29 interview with Sean Hannity, calling the Times “the most dishonest media group,” The Daily Caller reports.
“We had a board meeting,” Trump said. "It was off-the-record. Suddenly, they leak it; it’s all over the place."
Hannity said some had claimed that Trump made the wall between the U.S. and Mexico seem like an uncertain prospect.
“By the way, it is negotiable,” Trump said. “Things are negotiable, I’ll be honest with you. I’ll make the wall two feet shorter or something. Everything is negotiable. … Building it? Not negotiable.”
Trump also fired back when questioned about the 11 million people he plans to deport.
“Look, I’ve always said we have some good people over here, and they are going to go out, but we will work out some system that’s fair,” Trump said. “But we either have a country or we don’t. We need a border; we need a wall.”
Mexican officials have said they won’t pay for the wall, but Trump said he wasn’t intimidated.
“These politicians come up [and] they say, ‘You don’t really mean Mexico is going to pay?’” Trump said. "I’m a business guy. I’ve done unbelievable deals. You know, they talk about this deal, that deal. I’ve done hundreds of deals that are so good, nobody ever wants to talk about the great deals."
“If I’m wrong about this, you are all going to come back, and we’re going to have another meeting, and I’m going to apologize to you,” he added.