Trump: NBC didn't fire me, I quit!
Credit: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Donald Trump slammed his longtime partner NBC on Monday after the broadcaster announced it was cutting ties with him.

“Mr. Trump stands by his statements on illegal immigration, which are accurate,” read a statement from his office provided to EW. “NBC is weak, and like everybody else is trying to be politically correct— that is why our country is in serious trouble. Mr. Trump says, ‘We must have strong borders and not let illegal immigrants enter the United States. As has been stated continuously in the press, people are pouring across our borders unabated. Public reports routinely state great amounts of crime are being committed by illegal immigrants. This must be stopped and it must be stopped now. Long ago I told NBC that I would not being doing The Apprentice because I am running for President in order to Make our Country Great Again.'”

Moreover, Trump is threatening to sue NBC for announcing they would no longer air his beauty pageants.

“If NBC is so weak and so foolish to not understand the serious illegal immigration problem in the United States, coupled with the horrendous and unfair trade deals we are making with Mexico, then their contract violating closure of Miss Universe/Miss USA will be determined in court,” he said. “Furthermore, 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.”

Yet Trump also suggested that ending his relationship with NBC was all part of his plan anyway.

“[NBC is] going to take a different stance – that’s okay,” Trump said. “Whatever they want to do is okay with me. I’ve had a lot of great relationships with NBC. As far as ending the relationship, I have to do that, because my view on immigration is much different than the people at NBC. You have to stop illegal immigration. I know NBC might disagree with me, but you cannot have illegal immigration. You do not have a country if you do … I told NBC I can’t change my stance.”

Like many breakups, the NBC and Trump split has some mutual elements. While Trump almost certainly didn’t plan on his inflammatory statement comparing Mexican immigrants to criminals to cause a media firestorm that resulted in Univision dumping his NBC co-produced Miss USA pageant, he also told a CNN interviewer this weekend that he wouldn’t be able to appear on the next edition of Celebrity Apprentice due to his presidential campaign—a statement that NBC seemingly referenced in its announcement cutting ties with Trump altogether earlier today.

“At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values,” the network said. “Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump. To that end, the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants, which are part of a joint venture between NBC and Trump, will no longer air on NBC. In addition, as Mr. Trump has already indicated, he will not be participating in The Celebrity Apprentice on NBC. Celebrity Apprentice is licensed from Mark Burnett’s United Artists Media Group and that relationship will continue.”