Donald Trump on Tuesday offered a lengthy defense in response to the firestorm regarding his racially based attacks on the judge overseeing lawsuits against his now defunct Trump University.
The presumptive Republican nominee said critics are unfairly calling his attacks on U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel racist.
“It is unfortunate that my comments have been misconstrued as a categorical attack against people of Mexican heritage. I am friends with and employ thousands of people of Mexican and Hispanic descent,” Trump said in the statement.
But Trump also said it is fair for him to question whether Curiel has a conflict of interest because of his Mexican roots and Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Due to what I believe are unfair and mistaken rulings in this case and the Judge’s reported associations with certain professional organizations, questions were raised regarding the Obama appointed Judge’s impartiality. It is a fair question. I hope it is not the case,” Trump said.