POLITICS

Donald Trump Offers Non-Apology On Racist Judge Comments

Top Republicans have slammed his remarks as the "literal definition of racism."

Donald Trump on Tuesday tried to repair some of the damage his remarks about a federal judge have caused, after leading Republican figures criticized him over the racially motivated attacks.

The two page statement read, in part:

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. The American justice system relies on fair and impartial judges. All judges should be held to that standard. I do not feel that one’s heritage makes them incapable of being impartial, but, based on the rulings that I have received in the Trump University civil case, I feel justified in questioning whether I am receiving a fair trial.

Trump's full statement reads like a hybrid mix of his typical language and that of a completely different person. Two paragraphs in particular, at the top and bottom, did not sound the least like the presumptive GOP nominee. "While this lawsuit should have been dismissed, it is now scheduled for trial in November. I do not intend to comment on this matter any further," the final paragraph states.

The businessman's pledge not to talk about the case represented a total about-face for Trump, who instructed his campaign surrogates on Monday to amplify their attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel and journalists who asked about the case. Trump reportedly told his top supporters to accuse reporters and Democrats of being the real racists.

He has repeatedly attacked the Indiana-born judge, who is presiding over a class action lawsuit against Trump University, the reality TV personality's now-defunct seminar school. The businessman claims the judge is a "Trump-hater" who is "Mexican."

Republicans and Democrats alike have condemned Trump's threats and accusations about Curiel's heritage. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) said on Tuesday that he would no longer support Trump’s presidential bid. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) on Monday called the comments "the literal definition of "racism."

The statement signals that Trump has gotten the message from his fellow Republicans. Yet to call it an apology would be incorrect. 

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. 

The reality TV personality went on to rehash some of the familiar defenses he has brought out before in the ongoing Trump University case -- which alleges he committed fraud, but he says the students, many of whom paid up to $35,000 to learn the businessman's "secrets," were happy with the program. 

Read the full statement below:

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. The American justice system relies on fair and impartial judges. All judges should be held to that standard. I do not feel that one’s heritage makes them incapable of being impartial, but, based on the rulings that I have received in the Trump University civil case, I feel justified in questioning whether I am receiving a fair trial.

Over the past few weeks, I have watched as the media has reported one inaccuracy after another concerning the ongoing litigation involving Trump University. There are several important facts the public should know and that the media has failed to report.

Throughout the litigation my attorneys have continually demonstrated that students who participated in Trump University were provided a substantive, valuable education based upon a curriculum developed by professors from Northwestern University, Columbia Business School, Stanford University and other respected institutions. And, the response from students was overwhelming. Over a five year period, more than 10,000 paying students filled out surveys giving the courses high marks and expressing their overwhelming satisfaction with Trump University’s programs. For example:

  • Former student Tarla Makaeff, the original plaintiff in the litigation, not only completed multiple surveys rating Trump University’s three-day seminar “excellent” in every category, but also praised Trump University’s mentorship program in a glowing 5 plus minute video testimonial. When asked “how could Trump University help to meet [her] goals”, she simply stated “[c]ontinue to offer great classes.” Once the plaintiffs’ lawyers realized how disastrous a witness she was, they asked to have her removed from the case. Over my lawyers’ objections, the judge granted the plaintiffs’ motion, but allowed the case to continue.
  • Art Cohen, a lead plaintiffs in the litigation, completed a survey in which he not only rated Trump University’s three-day seminar “excellent” in virtually every category, but went so far as to indicate that he would “attend another Trump University seminar” and even “recommend Trump University seminars to a friend.” When asked how Trump University could improve the seminar, Mr. Cohen’s only suggestion was to “[h]ave lunch sandwiches brought in” and make the lunch break 45 minutes.
  • Former student Bob Giullo, who has been critical of Trump University in numerous interviews and negative advertisements from my political opponents, also expressed his satisfaction, rating Trump University’s programs “excellent” in every category. When asked how Trump University could improve its programs, Mr. Giullo simply asked that students be provided “more comfortable chairs.”

Indeed, these are just a few of literally thousands of positive surveys, all of which can be viewed online at www.98percentapproval.com.

For those students who decided that Trump University’s programs were not for them, the company had a generous refund policy, offering a full refund to any student who asked for their money back within 3 days of signing up for a program or by the end of the first day of any multi-day program, whichever came later.

Normally, legal issues in a civil case would be heard in a neutral environment. However, given my unique circumstances as nominee of the Republican Party and the core issues of my campaign that focus on illegal immigration, jobs and unfair trade, I have concerns as to my ability to receive a fair trial.

I am fighting hard to bring jobs back to the United States. Many companies – like Ford, General Motors, Nabisco, Carrier – are moving production to Mexico. Drugs and illegal immigrants are also pouring across our border. This is bad for all Americans, regardless of their heritage.

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.

While this lawsuit should have been dismissed, it is now scheduled for trial in November. I do not intend to comment on this matter any further. With all of the thousands of people who have given the courses such high marks and accolades, we will win this case!

Donald J. Trump

 

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