Donald Trump doubled down on his attacks against a Latino judge presiding over lawsuits related to Trump University during a Friday interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Insisting on eight separate occasions that because he’s “building a wall” along the US-Mexico border he is being treated unfairly, Trump unleashed a tirade against US District Judge Gonzalo Curiel.
“Now, this judge is of Mexican heritage,” Trump said. “I’m building a wall, OK? I’m building a wall. I am going to do very well with the Hispanics, the Mexicans.”
Tapper pressed Trump a number of times as to whether the attack was racist because he insists on calling the Curiel’s heritage as a reason he cannot preside fairly over the case.
“If you are saying he cannot do his job because of his race, is that not the definition of racism?” Tapper asked.
Trump said it was not.
“So no Mexican judge could ever be involved in a case that involves you?” Tapper pressed on.
“Jake, I’m building a wall,” Trump said. “I’m building a wall. I’m trying to keep business out of Mexico. Mexico’s fine. … He’s of Mexican heritage, and he’s very proud of it, as I am of where I come from.”
But Tapper was quick to point out that Curiel is from Indiana and is American. When Tapper mentioned how Hillary Clinton called the attack racist and how House Speaker Paul Ryan said he disagreed with Trump’s sentiment, Trump called Clinton a “stiff” and said Ryan “doesn’t know the case.”
“Look, he’s proud of his heritage,” Trump said. “I’m building a wall. Now, I think I’m going to do very well.”
“I’m going to do very well with Hispanics because I’m going to bring back jobs and they’re going to get jobs right now,” he continued. “I think I’m going to do very well with Hispanics, but we’re building a wall. He’s a Mexican. We’re building a wall between here and Mexico. The answer is, he is giving us very unfair rulings — rulings that people can’t even believe.
“Well, I’m building a wall, OK?” Trump went on. “And it’s a wall between Mexico, not another country.”
Trump ramped up his attacks on Curiel during a recent interview with the to The Wall Street Journal.
The Manhattan businessman said Curiel had “an absolute conflict” in presiding over the civil cases against Trump University because Curiel was “of Mexican heritage,” as Trump put it, and belonged to a Latino lawyers association.
He added that Curiel’s ethnic background was relevant because of his campaign promises to build a wall along the US-Mexico border and deport immigrants living in the country illegally.
“I’m building a wall,” Trump told the Journal. “It’s an inherent conflict of interest.”
Watch the exchange below:
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