Donald Trump on Tuesday released a statement on the ongoing controversy with Judge Curiel and the continuing legal battle with Trump University, attempting to close the book on the burgeoning controversy that has put the GOP into a tailspin.
In a written statement released by email, Trump defended Trump University and highlighted thousands of positive reviews of the school from former students, while also calling it “unfortunate” that his “comments have been misconstrued as a categorical attack against people of Mexican heritage.”
"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 wrote.
Trump’s statement does not apologize for his comments about Judge Curiel’s race preventing him from doing his job fairly. Speaking to these statements, Trump says that “the Judge’s reported associations with certain professional organizations” raised questions as to his “impartiality.”
“It is a fair question,” Trump continued to maintain. Many of the professional organizations brought up by Trump are heritage-related organizations.
The statement also seeks to discredit plaintiffs Makaeff and Cohen by quoting positive previous reviews from the former students. “These are just a few of literally thousands of positive surveys, all of which can be viewed online at www.98percentapproval.com,” the statement said.
Trump's statement comes after days of distancing from establishment Republicans, even those who have backed Trump and tried to give him counsel after becoming the party’s presumptive nominee. Speaker Paul Ryan called Trump’s comments about the judge’s heritage “a textbook example of racism” and said the comments were indefensible. Despite them, he still supports Trump.
Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also had harsh words for Trump on Tuesday, saying that “it’s time to quit attacking various people that you competed with or various minority groups in the country and get on message.”