Rep. Pete King: Sure Trump’s Judge Comments Were ‘Racist,’ But He’s Not!

June 10, 2016 10:43 a.m.

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.”

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.”

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