House Speaker Paul Ryan held a private meeting of House Republicans Wednesday to stress party unity as he desperately attempted to ease the political turbulence caused by Donald Trump's racially-charged comments about a federal judge.
Ryan asked his fellow lawmakers to back Trump, as he is, as the presumptive GOP presidential nominee — despite the outcry over the billionaire's dressing down of Judge Gonzalo Curiel, some who attended the closed-door powwow told CNN
After Ryan endorsed him last week, Trump said the U.S.-born Curiel — whom Trump called "a Mexican" —could not fairly oversee a lawsuit involving Trump University because of Trump's comments about Mexican immigrants and his plan to make Mexico pay for a border wall.
Ryan called Trump's remarks a "textbook definition of a racist comment" and "completely unacceptable" but said he'd still vote for him.
Not so for Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, who rescinded his endorsement and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a longtime Trump nemesis who made a heartfelt pitch to GOP lawmakers to do the same.
Trump has said his statements have been "misconstrued," insisting, "I am friends with and employ thousands of people of Mexican and Hispanic descent. 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."
A few days after Trump's initial comments about Curiel, he said on CBS's "Face the Nation" that a judge who is Muslim might also be biased against him because of his plan to temporarily bar Muslims from entering the United States.
The racial flap is proving to be an arsenal of cannon fodder for Democrats.
Hillary Clinton said she fears Trump will go after female judges next.
During an interview with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC
, Clinton said:
"He's trying to demean and defame a federal judge, who was a very accomplished federal prosecutor, who was first appointed by a Republican governor in California, and then appointed to the federal bench by President Obama. [Trump] recently said he didn't know if a Muslim judge could be fair to him.
"I imagine he'll move on to women judges because he's been insulting women so regularly, or maybe a judge with a disability, or perhaps one who was a former POW, or African American. This is dangerous nonsense that undermines the rule of law."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.