Donald Trump is not exactly apologizing for attacks on the federal judge overseeing the lawsuits against his Trump University, but he is backing away from implying that a judge of Mexican heritage can't be impartial.
Trump issued a written statement Tuesday saying he was just raising a "fair question" about how U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel when he repeatedly said that a "Mexican" judge should not be allowed to preside over his case. Judge Curiel was born in Indiana of parents who legally immigrated to the United States from Mexico.
It was "unfortunate that my comments have been misconstrued as a categorical attack on people of hispanic heritage," Trump said in his statement. "I do not feel that one's heritage makes them incapable of being impartial."
Trump said he "feels justified in questioning whether I am receiving a fair trial" in the case.
Trump's hopes to being unity to the Republican Party after a divisive primary have been threatened by his attacks on the judge. House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday he "absolutely disavowed" Trump's attacks on the judge overusing the Tump University lawsuits, saying they were "the textbook definition of a racist comment." ormer House Speaker Newt Gingrich also called Trump's attacks his "worst mistake" and "inexcusable."
Trump surrogate/supporter Jeffrey Lord argues that Ryan and other "establishment Republicans" are the racist for "playing the race card" in criticizing Trump.