At the rate he’s going, Donald Trump’s controversial campaign proposals seem to be making it increasingly impossible for him get a fair trial in this country.
On CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday, presumptive Republican presidential nominee suggested that “it’s possible” a Muslim judge could be biased against him.
The comment came in response to a question from host John Dickerson amid Trump’s latest defense of the controversial claim that he’s received unfair treatment in the ongoing civil lawsuits against Trump University because of the presiding judge’s Mexican heritage.
On “Fox News Sunday,” former House Speaker and Trump supporter Newt Gingrich joined critics from both sides of the aisle in calling the candidate’s comments “inexcusable” and “one of the worst mistakes Trump has made.”
U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel is a U.S. citizen who was born in Indiana. But according to Trump, the fact that Curiel is the son of Mexican immigrants makes it impossible for the judge to act impartially in the Trump University case.
“I’m building a wall,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal last week, following an order by Curiel that internal Trump University documents be released. “It’s an inherent conflict of interest.”
By that logic, Dickerson asked, might Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim travel to the U.S. also cause a Muslim American judge to treat him unfairly?
“It’s possible, yes,” Trump replied. “Yeah. That would be possible, absolutely.”
The White House hopeful has remained obstinate in his attack against Curiel despite widespread backlash from Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, fellow Republicans like House Speaker Paul Ryan and Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, as well as a number of legal experts.
In America, it doesn’t matter where your parents were born or what color your skin is. We should be judged by words and deeds—not our race.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 4, 2016
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) June 3, 2016
In an interview on CNN’s “The Lead” Friday, host Jake Tapper asked bluntly, “If you are saying he can’t do his job because of his race, is that not the definition of racism?”
“No, I don’t think so at all,” Trump replied, reiterating his call for the judge to recuse himself from the Trump University case. “He’s a Mexican. We’re building a wall between here and Mexico.”
— CNN (@CNN) June 5, 2016
The conversation continued on “CBS News Sunday Morning,” where Trump showed no signs of backing down.
“Isn’t there sort of a tradition though in America that we don’t judge people by who their parents were and where they came from?” Dickerson asked.
“I’m not talking about tradition,” Trump said. “I’m talking about common sense, OK? He’s somebody, he’s proud of his heritage. And I think that’s great that he’s proud of his heritage.”