Trump Attacks ‘Mexican’ Judge in Trump University Lawsuit
Over the course of 12 minutes, Donald Trump used a campaign rally in San Diego on Friday night to lace into the judge overseeing a lawsuit over Trump University, calling him a “hater” and speculating about his ethnicity.
“The trial is going to take place sometime in November. There should be no trial. This should have been dismissed on summary judgment easily,” Trump said. “Everybody says it, but I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump, a hater. He’s a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel.”
“I’ll be seeing you in November, either as president…” Trump said, trailing off. “I think Judge Curiel should be ashamed of himself. I think it’s a disgrace that he’s doing this.” Trump brought up Curiel’s ethnicity: “The judge, who happens to be, we believe, Mexican…I think the Mexicans are going to end up loving Donald Trump.”
Several lawsuits — two in federal court in San Diego and one in state court in New York — allege that Trump’s now-defunct real estate school, Trump University, made false claims about instructors’ experience. Trump has already acknowledged in a deposition that he did not hand-pick the teachers, as marketing materials claimed, though he insists the program was valuable.
“They actually did a very good job, but I’ve won most of the lawsuits,” he said during a GOP debate in February.
Since then, Trump has repeatedly attacked Curiel and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, claiming the former is “Spanish” and the latter is out to get him for electoral gain.
At Friday night’s rally, he got more specific, telling the crowd he believes Curiel — who was born in the United States — is Mexican.
“The judge, who happens to be, we believe, Mexican, which is great, I think that’s fine,” Trump said, according to the LA Times. “You know what? I think the Mexicans are going to end up loving Donald Trump when I give all these jobs, OK?”
As we investigated before, Trump University was a massive scam.
Curiel, who was appointed to the U.S. District Court in November 2011 by President Barack Obama, previously served as a Superior Court judge in San Diego and, for 17 years prior to that, as a federal prosecutor. He was born in East Chicago in 1953 and earned his J.D. in 1979 from the Indiana University School of Law. From 1999-2002, Curiel headed the Narcotics Enforcement Division for the Southern District of California, where he prosecuted drug smugglers working across the U.S.-Mexico border.
Earlier this month, Curiel delayed the start of trial proceedings until November.