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After Launching Anti-Latino Campaign, Trump Now Sucking Up To One Of Nation’s Leading Latino Groups

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After months of antagonizing Latinos and immigrants with toxic rhetoric and vile accusations, Donald Trump is now trying to suck up to one of the nation’s most powerful Latino groups.

From Elise Foley:

Donald Trump met Tuesday with the president of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to insist he is not anti-Latino, while standing by his push for a U.S.-Mexico border wall and the mass deportation of the mostly Latino undocumented population.

Yet while the businessman and GOP presidential candidate did not back away from his controversial immigration stances, his tone was considerably softer, according to people who attended the meeting, which took place in New York.

“What I found was the private Donald is very different from the public Donald,” Javier Palomarez, president and CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, told HuffPost. “He was very gracious, he was very hospitable. Amazingly, he listened a lot more than he talked. He asked a lot of questions.”

Palomarez said the meeting was set up at the Trump campaign’s request. The campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Trump’s past assertion that some of the immigrants coming into the U.S. from Mexico were rapists and criminals led the chamber to boycott Trump hotels, announcing in July they would not be considered as potential venues for upcoming conventions.

Trump, ever the businessman, asked at the meeting whether the chamber would consider one holding its 2016 convention at one of his venues in Miami, according to chamber spokesman Ammar Campa-Najjar. The answer was still no.

Trump’s gall isn’t all that surprising. Just last month, two Trump fans brutally assaulted a homeless Latino man in Boston, leaving him bloodied and covered in their urine. When questioned by police, one of the two men cited Trump’s rhetoric as their inspiration.

Trump’s response was to call his fans, “passionate.”

The Chamber doesn’t appear to be budging from their decision to boycott Trump’s venues, but they have agreed to host a Q&A with Trump. The Chamber’s explanation is that, as a non-partisan organization, they have an obligation to inform their millions of members of issues relating to the 2016 Presidential campaign:

The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which represents 3.2 million Latino business owners, agreed to an Oct. 8 public Q&A session with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump after a private meeting Tuesday.

“Agree with him or not, whether or not we are in support of him. We still don’t see eye to eye with him, but that’s beside the point. Our job is to remain non partisan, to give candidates the forum so they can talk in greater detail about their policies,” Palomarez told NBC News.

“I believe our constituency of 3.2 million job creators deserves to hear directly from anybody looking to move into the White House,” Palomarez said.

Other candidates have participated in similar sessions and “we needed to afford him that same opportunity,” Palomarez said.

This decision could be dangerous, though, and give Trump ammunition (“The President of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce called me ‘gracious!’ he’ll probably say) when he is deeply unpopular with Latinos. A new ABC News poll has Trump completely underwater among Latinos, with a blowout 82% unfavorability rating. And just last month, NBC News/Wall Street Journal polling reported 75% of Latinos had either a negative view or very negative view of the leading Republican Presidential candidate. So much for Trump’s repeated claims that “the Latinos” love him.

Some prominent leaders within the immigrant movement have lashed out against the Chamber for even giving Trump the time of day: