Retired neurosurgeon and former 2016 presidential contender Ben Carson said in an interview published Friday that Donald Trump privately acknowledged his attacks on a federal judge’s Mexican heritage were wrong.
“He fully recognises that that was not the right thing to say,” Carson told Politico.
Carson, one of Trump’s top supporters, told the outlet that he had heard the Manhattan billionaire concede in private that he erred when he suggested US District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s Mexican descent made him unfit to oversee cases involving Trump University.
The presumptive Republican nominee has argued there was a conflict of interest because he favours building a wall and Curiel’s parents are from Mexico.
Curiel is an American and was born in Indiana.
In clips released of an interview set to air Sunday, House Speaker Paul Ryan was asked by ABC News host George Stephanopoulos about whether Trump understands the backlash his comments have caused.
“I don’t know the answer to that question,” Ryan said. “Getting over that kind of a comment is not, that’s, no — this is something that needed to be condemned.”
“That comment is beyond the pale,” he added. “That’s not political correctness. Suggesting that a person can’t do their job because of race or ethnicity, that’s not a politically incorrect thing to do, that’s just a wrong thing to say.”
Trump may have seen some of the backlash in the latest Fox News national poll. The real-estate mogul dipped six points from last month, trailing Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by a 42% to 39% spread.
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