Fox News host Bill O'Reilly said Monday that Donald Trump is wrong to say the federal judge in his Trump University lawsuit is biased against him because of his Mexican heritage, but that the judge still should recuse himself.
U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel was appointed by President Barack Obama, but "is not raging" liberal, O'Reilly said in the opening segment of "The O'Reilly Factor."
On the contrary, O'Reilly said, Curiel is "a tough guy" who was once threatened with assassination by a Mexican drug cartel for his anti-trafficking stance.
Though Curiel is a member of a group called the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association, that group is not associated with the more liberal National Council of La Raza, O'Reilly said, and is focused on giving legal advocacy to Hispanics — not opposing Trump's immigration policies.
Still, O'Reilly said, the Trump University case, in which some former students say they were defrauded by the real estate seminars, has become political to an extent, and the judge should, therefore, recuse himself to "eliminate any doubt as to the motivation in court rulings."
O'Reilly brought Trump on to respond and told the GOP presumptive presidential nominee he has checked out the judge and thinks he is an honest man.
"I don't think he is hosing you, I really don't," O'Reilly said.
"I hope so," said Trump, sounding more conciliatory than he has in past comments. "I don't care if is he Mexican or not Mexican. All I want him to do is give me a fair shake."
Trump also answered claims by The Boston Globe
that his campaign pays men more than women. Trump said his staff has looked into the allegations and found that the positions where men are paid more are instances of doing different jobs, but that when women and men do the same job, women typically make more because they usually are more talented.
"I pay based on talent," he said.
"I just checked with my people on the election stuff, and they tell me that that's wrong," Trump said. "There are different jobs and different categories and everything else." In the end, he said, "it's essentially the same.'
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