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Trump Says Comments on 'Mexican' Judge Were 'Misconstrued'

But he doesn't apologize
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2016 5:04 PM CDT

(Newser) – Donald Trump issued a statement Tuesday in which he blames the media for his "misconstrued" comments on Judge Gonzalo Curiel, whose Mexican heritage Trump says make him unfit to preside over the Trump University case. The Charlotte Observer calls it a "non-apology," and Politico characterizes it as an attempt to "calm the firestorm." The statement comes shortly after Paul Ryan called Trump's claim the "textbook definition of a racist comment" and Sen. Mark Kirk called it "un-American." Politico also reports the statement was only issued after RNC chairman Reince Priebus called Trump and asked him to "walk the comments back."

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In his statement, Trump blamed the media for reporting falsehoods, defended Trump University, and insisted once again that he isn't racist. “I am friends with and employ thousands of people of Mexican and Hispanic descent.” He also says his questions about Curiel, who was born in Indiana, are "fair" and points out the judge was appointed by President Obama. Trump closes the statement by saying he doesn't plan to comment any further. The Trump University trial is scheduled for November. It's unclear how much Trump's comments about Curiel have hurt him. While Kirk said he would no longer be able to support Trump, Ryan says he'll still vote for him. And Newt Gingrich, who called the comments "inexcusable," says he's still impressed by Trump. (Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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