Donald Trump might be down, but he's not out. The real estate mogul and presidential hopeful is confident that he can smooth things over with NBC after the fallout stemming from his recent anti-immigration comments.
The network distanced itself from Trump following remarks he made about Mexican immigrants, but Trump exclusively conveyed to ET's Nischelle Turner that in Hollywood, money covers a multitude of sins. When asked if he could wind up back at NBC, Trump answered in the affirmative.
"I'm going to say the answer is yes, because I get ratings," Trump said emphatically. "That's why you're here."
While announcing his presidential run on June 16, Trump ignited a firestorm of criticism by saying, "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're sending people that have lots of problems. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists."
Following the speech, NBC announced that they would no longer air the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants (Trump is part owner of both) and that Trump would no longer be participating in The Celebrity Apprentice, which also airs on the network.
"The Apprentice would have died without me," Trump said. "Mark Cuban did The Benefactor, and it didn't work, unfortunately. Richard [Branson], who is a friend of mine, did another show [The Rebel Billionaire: Branson's Quest for the Best] that didn't work ... I don't know who can replace me. I'm sure someone maybe can replace me, but all I can say is there have been 15 copies of The Apprentice and every one of them failed."
In addition to NBC, Univision also decided to pull out from televising Miss USA and Miss Universe, but today REELZ channel announced that it will be picking up the broadcast live on Sunday, July 12 at 8 p.m. ET.
"The decision on the part of REELZ to acquire the rights to the Miss USA Pageant was based on our belief that this special event, and the women who compete in it, are an integral part of American tradition," Stan E. Hubbard, CEO of REELZ, said in a statement on Thursday. "As one of only a few independent networks, we decided to exercise our own voice and committed ourselves to bringing this pageant to American viewers everywhere."
Attempting to address the controversy surrounding the show, Hubbard added, "For us, this decision is about the dreams of the contestants who come from all walks of life across the United States, the city of Baton Rouge that has proudly come together to host this pageant and the viewers who will be watching and celebrating its 54th year on television."
For his part, Trump has insisted that his words were misconstrued.
"I never singled out Mexico," Trump told ET. "What I said is that people are coming across the border and they are coming through Mexico. Mexico is doing very little to stop it, that I can tell you. They are coming from all over the place, but it's illegal immigration. They come in unlawfully and there is tremendous crime around the people that are coming in."