On the tenth of June in the Year of Our Lord two thousand and sixteen, Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer said on CNN that Donald Trump “has made clear he was not trying to speak to the judge’s heritage” when the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said that Judge Gonzalo Curiel had “an absolute conflict” in presiding over a class action lawsuit against Trump University because he was “of Mexican heritage.”
Counterpoint: Trump was definitely speaking to the judge’s heritage.
Here’s every time that Trump said that Curiel could not be impartial in the case precisely because of his Mexican heritage.
During a rally in February
The judge should have thrown the case out on summary judgment. But because it was me and because there’s a hostility toward me by the judge, tremendous hostility, beyond belief—I believe he happens to be Spanish, which is fine, he’s Hispanic, which is fine, and we haven’t asked for a recusal, which we may do, but we have a judge who’s very hostile.”
In an interview, Mr. Trump said U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel had “an absolute conflict” in presiding over the litigation given that he was “of Mexican heritage” and a member of a Latino lawyers’ association. Mr. Trump said the background of the judge, who was born in Indiana to Mexican immigrants, was relevant because of his campaign stance against illegal immigration and his pledge to seal the southern U.S. border. “I’m building a wall. It’s an inherent conflict of interest,” Mr. Trump said.
Pirro: Why did you refer to his ethnicity, Donald?
Trump: Well, because his heritage is Mexican.
Pirro: So what?
Trump: Well, because I want to build a wall. And I’m getting along great, I think, with Hispanics but I want to build a wall. There are some people who don’t like that.
Pirro: Yeah but some of the numbers don’t indicate that. Do you think you have to dial it back?
Trump: Look I have to be what I have to be. I mean, I have to tell the truth… He’s of Mexican heritage. I hope he’s gonna be fair. But he’s treated me very unfairly.
John Dickerson: Let me ask you about, what does the Mexican heritage of the judge in the Trump University case have to do with anything.
Trump: I think it has a lot to do with it. First of all, I’ve had terrible rulings forever. I had a judge previous to him and it would have been a very quick case. This is a case I should’ve won on summary judgment. This is a case—and nobody writes this, and they all know it, but they don’t like to write it—the plaintiff in the case was a woman. She was so bad that under deposition it was over. I mean, she couldn’t have been the—it was a disaster. They went before the judge, they said, “We don’t want her to be the plaintiff. We want to put somebody else in.” So we said, “Well, that’s fine. Dismiss the case. You have to dismiss the case.” Wait a minute—she gave letters, the most incredible reviews of the college you’ve ever seen, of the university. She gave the most incredible—then on top of it, we have a tape where she’s talking about it in the most glowing terms. You wouldn’t speak about your college—
Dickerson: But Mr. Trump, what does this have to do with his parents being from Mexico, how does that—
Trump: Excuse me, excuse me, I’m just saying. We’re getting terrible rulings.
On CNN’s State of the Union
Jake Tapper: You said that you thought it was a conflict of interest that he was the judge because he’s of Mexican heritage, even though he’s from Indiana.
Trump: OK. Yes. Yes.
And again during the same segment
Tapper: Is it not—when Hillary Clinton says, this is a racist attack—and you reject that—if you are saying he can’t do his job because of his race, is that not the definition of racism?
Trump: No, I don’t think so at all.
Trump: No. He’s proud of his heritage. I—I respect him for that.
Tapper: But you’re saying he can’t do his job because of that.
Trump: Look, he’s proud of his heritage. OK? I’m building a wall. Now, I think I’m going to do very well with Hispanics.
Tapper: He’s a legal citizen.
I can’t wait to keep doing this for six months!