What they are saying about Donald Trump and the judge

Donald Trump in an interview with the Wall Street Journal Thursday, said the judge in the  “Trump University” lawsuit  -- where a group of former students say the school duped them out of a great deal of money – has an “absolute conflict” because he is Hispanic.

According to Trump, Judge Gonzalo Curiel should excuse himself from the case because of Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall between the United States and Mexico to keep illegal  immigrants from entering the country.

Here’s what people are saying about the interview.

Thursday’s Wall Street Journal interview

The Wall Street Journal

"In an interview, Mr. Trump said U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel had “an absolute conflict” in presiding over the litigation given that he was “of Mexican heritage” and a member of a Latino lawyers’ association. Mr. Trump said the background of the judge, who was born in Indiana to Mexican immigrants, was relevant because of his campaign stance against illegal immigration and his pledge to seal the southern U.S. border. “I’m building a wall. It’s an inherent conflict of interest,” Mr. Trump said."

Trump attacking a judge who can’t fight back

MSNBC

"After Hillary Clinton made Donald Trump look ridiculous yesterday afternoon, I largely expected the presumptive Republican nominee to launch a new offensive against his likely Democratic opponent. Instead, Trump turned to the Wall Street Journal, where he escalated his attacks against the judge in the “Trump University” case – who can’t, incidentally, publicly defend himself."

Legal experts upset over Trump’s attack

The Washington Post

"Donald Trump’s highly personal, racially tinged attacks on a federal judge overseeing a pair of lawsuits against him have set off a wave of alarm among legal experts, who worry that the Republican presidential candidate’s vendetta signals a remarkable disregard for judicial independence. That attitude, many argue, could carry constitutional implications if Trump becomes president."

Was it an off-the-cuff remark?

The Atlantic 

"Was Donald Trump’s suggestion last week that Judge Gonzalo Curiel, an American of Mexican descent, could not fairly preside over a lawsuit about so-called Trump University simply an off-the-cuff remark? If so, Trump seems to have decided to go with it. Perhaps one reason Trump lashed out at Curiel once more was the release of documents from the case on Tuesday, which painted Trump University in an unflattering light."

Trump calls him ‘a Mexican.’ Judge was born in Indiana.

Talking Points Memo 

"Trump has been hurling attacks at Curiel since February, calling him "biased" and a "hater," as well as constantly calling the judge a "Mexican." Curiel was born in Indiana, but is of Mexican descent. The Republican presidential candidate also told the Wall Street Journal that he believes that Curiel is biased because he is the former colleague of an attorney representing one of the plaintiffs in a Trump University case. But the lawyer, Jason Forge, told the Journal that he has not interacted with Curiel socially."

12-minute ‘rant’ about Curiel’s ethnicity

ExploreSlate

"Donald Trump’s unprecedented—and utterly absurd—attacks against the federal judge presiding over two class-action suits over Trump University took the inevitable (bigoted) turn towards the logically surreal Thursday. The presumptive Republican candidate for president has already, of course, called U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel a “hater” and a “total disgrace.” During a campaign rally last week, Trump tried a different tack during a long, meandering twelve-minute (!) rant about, among other things, Curiel’s ethnicity. Surprise!"

Cutting to the chase

Vox

"Repeatedly and over months, Trump and his campaign have insinuated that Curiel is hostile toward Trump and everything he represents because he's Hispanic and proud of it. And now, Trump is doing us all the favor of stating it outright."