In an interview with Fox News, Trump says he didn’t expect the strength of the backlash against his comments to be quite as severe:
I knew it was going to be bad because I was told this. All my life I have been told this: If you are successful, you don’t run for office.I didn’t know it was going to be quite this severe, but I really knew it was going to be bad…It seems like I’m sort of the whipping post because I bring it up. And I don’t understand whether you are liberal or whether you are conservative or whether you are Republican, Democrat — why wouldn’t you talk about a problem? The crime is raging. It’s violent, and people don’t want to even talk about it. If you talk about it, you are a racist. I don’t understand it.
For the people who say I’m doing it for my brand – this isn’t good for my brand. I think it’s bad for my brand…You know, maybe I’m leading in polls, but this is certainly not good. I lose customers, I lose people. I had one of the top shows on television, The Apprentice, and I decided not to do it because I wanted to do this. I give up hundreds of millions of dollars of deals where I’m doing this. Then you hear about NASCAR, and you hear about NBC, and you hear about, you know, different people that drop Trump because Trump wants safety in the United States. If you think of it, what am I doing? I say let’s make our country safe, and people are offended. It’s incredible to me.