Real estate mogul Donald Trump filed a $500 million lawsuit against the Univision network, CNN reported on Tuesday.
“The decision was, in reality, a politically motivated attempt to suppress Mr. Trump’s freedom of speech under the First Amendment as he begins to campaign for the nation’s presidency,” a statement from his office read.
The GOP presidential candidate accused the network of lying when it cited his anti-immigrant comments as the reason it decided not to air the Miss USA pageant, which Trump owns. NBC later decided not to air either that program or the Miss Universe pageant, which is also under Trump’s control.
According to WABC-TV, the statement also indicated that Trump was considering suing NBC, as well.
“They will stand behind lying Brian Williams, but won’t stand behind people that tell it like it is, as unpleasant as that may be,” it read.
Trump’s campaign has been criticized from the outset after he accused Mexico of sending “rapists” and criminals into the US, then threatened to make the Mexican government pay for the construction of a massive wall at the border between both nations.
Update, 6:48 p.m. EST: Politico reported that Univision responded with a statement calling the suit “factually false and legally ridiculous.”
“We will not only vigorously defend the case, but will continue to fight against Mr. Trump’s ongoing efforts to run away from the derogatory comments he made on June 16th about Mexican immigrants,” the statement read. “Our decision to end our business relationship with Mr. Trump was influenced solely by our responsibility to speak up for the community we serve.”