Tuesday afternoon Donald Trump published a statement on his campaign website which says that his comments about Judge Curiel have been “misconstrued” by the media. The full statement is here. It opens:
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.
The following several paragraphs of the letter are devoted to making the case that the trial has been unfair and that Trump University had positive reviews from “thousands” of students. Toward the end of the statement, Trump returns to the question of Judge Curiel’s impartiality:
I am fighting hard to bring jobs back to the United States. Many companies – like Ford, 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.
Finally, Trump says he will not be commenting on this any further:
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!
This may quell some of the discontent but there’s little reason to doubt this issue will continue to be brought up by Hillary Clinton, either in ads or possibly during a debate.