“The judge, who happens to be, we believe, Mexican, which is great.” This sentence (well, actually it’s not a sentence, but never mind) tells much about the presumptive Republican nominee, who made the comment in a rambling rant against Gonzalo Curiel, the U.S. District Judge overseeing two class-action lawsuits brought against the defunct Trump University
First, what’s up with the “we”? I’m guessing it’s both the royal we and the deniability we (“Hey, I never said I believed”).
Then there is the stereotype with faint praise, a favored rhetorical device of the candidate. Suffice it to say that the state of relations between Donald Trump and Mexicans is not “great”. It’s also hard to imagine Trump saying such things about others. “Rudy Giuliani, who we believe is Italian” or “Sheldon Adelson, who we believe is Jewish” or “Barack Obama, who we believe is . . .” OK, maybe that’s the exception.
Third, the conflict of interest. Much has been made of the potential conflicts presented by the Clinton Foundation – and rightly so – but what about the Trump Organization? Has anyone asked Trump how he plans to separate his personal interests from the public trust? He certainly hasn’t done so in this campaign in which he’s been a walking billboard for his businesses. Now he’s threatening a federal judge over Trump University, one of his most egregious enterprises.
Fourth, the personal attack accompanied by the bullying threats. “Wouldn’t that be wild if I am president and come back and do a civil case?”
And last, but hardly least, the statement is untrue. Judge Curiel was born in Indiana.