Rep. Pete King (R-NY) pulled off some serious verbal gymnastics on Friday while defending Donald Trump, condemning his “racist” remarks about a federal judge but insisting Trump himself would never discriminate based on race.
“There’s not a hint of racism,” King said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“What he said last week was racist but I make a distinction between a remark that is racist and a person who – he’s almost 70-years-old,” he continued. “He’s been in the public light and the private light all those years and nothing has come up that I’m aware of, of any type of racism at all.”
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) June 10, 2016
In interview after interview last week, Trump insisted that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s “Mexican” heritage rendered him unfit to oversee a case involving Trump University. According to Trump, his plan to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border meant that the Indiana-born Curiel could not be fair to him.
Dozens of prominent Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, rushed to denounce the remarks as racist.
Trump released a statement saying his comments about Curiel’s heritage had been “misconstrued.”