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Donald Trump Cancels Q&A, Says Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

GOP Donald Trump whose campaign rhetoric has angered many Latinos backed out of a planned Oct. 8 candidate forum with the U.S. Hispanic chamber.

by Suzanne Gamboa /

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has canceled his appearance at a Q&A session with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce scheduled for next Thursday, the chamber said.

USHCC spokesman Ammar Campa-Najjar said Friday Trump withdrew his participation in the session that has featured three other presidential candidates from both parties and will host a fourth on Tuesday, because Trump was concerned he would be "put on trial" and was unwilling to abide by terms and conditions of the candidate series.

Michael Cohen, an attorney and adviser to Trump, was not immediately available for comment when contacted by NBC News.

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In a statement, the chamber said it refused to change the format of the Q&A session, show favoritism, exclude any issues or topics or "grant immunity from objective scrutiny of his policies."

The chamber said Trump would not have been treated differently than other candidates that have done the sessions or spoken to the chamber's members.

RELATED: Donald Trump To Answer Questions At Public Hispanic Chamber Forum

The USHCC's plans to host Trump had unleashed some pushback from young immigrants and a handful of state or local chambers of commerce. They opposed the chamber giving Trump a platform for his campaign rhetoric, which has been criticized as at least uninformed and at worst bigoted and racist.

United We Dream, an advocacy group for young immigrants advocacy without legal status, said her organization planned some sort of protest action for Trump's Thursday appearance. "We made it clear that we would hold Donald Trump accountable for his bigotry and he went running," said Cristina Jimenez, cofounder and managing director for the group.

"I think it was very clear if the chamber was not going to hold him accountable, we were the one that were going to hold him accountable so Trump has clearly made the decision not to go," Jimenez said.

The chamber planned to go forward with the Trump session despite the criticism. When he first announced Trump's participation, USHCC president and CEO Javier Palomarez had described Trump as gracious and hospitable and showing humility, although he noted they clearly held different views on some topics, including immigration.

RELATED: Young Immigrants to Hispanic Chamber: Cancel Donald Trump Forum

The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed 67 percent of Hispanics had a very negative view of Trump.

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Democratic candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley have participated in the sessions. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, is scheduled to do a session Tuesday and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has been in negotiation with the group on a date for participation.

The chamber said plans also are in the works for sessions with Republican Carly Fiorina and Democrat Hillary Clinton. Jeb Bush spoke to the USHCC's conference in Houston.

The chamber said it set up the sessions for "the American people" to hear the candidate's positions on an array of issues such as jobs, the economy, small business, taxes, race relations and immigration.

On immigration, the chamber had hoped that the session would alter the narrative on immigration.

When he declared his presidential bid, Trump said Mexico was sending criminals, rapists and people carrying drugs to the U.S. His immigration plan includes building a wall on the border and making Mexico pay for it and deporting all immigrants here without legal permission and requiring them to apply to return. He also has criticized Bush for speaking Spanish on the campaign trail.

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