Speaking with John Dickerson of CBS News’ Face the Nation on Sunday, Donald Trump doubled down on his nativist attacks, asserting that not only is the judge in the Trump University case, Gonzalo Curiel, biased against him because Curiel has Mexican heritage, but a Muslim judge could not be trusted either.
After speaking of Curiel’s supposed bias, saying, “He`s member of a club or society very strongly pro- Mexican, which is all fine. But I say he`s got bias,” Trump was asked by Dickerson, “What if it was a Muslim judge?”
At first, Trump, in characteristic fashion, evaded the question, answering, “By the way, I have so many Hispanics. I made a speech last night. I saw hundreds of signs, Latinos for Trump, Latinos for Trump all over the place. And you know what? They are here legally. They don`t want their homes taken away. They don`t want their job taken away. They like what I`m doing. Now, people can come in, but they have to come in legally.
Dickerson persisted: “But what if he was a Muslim, though? You have had -- been very tough on temporary Muslim immigration ban. Would a Muslim judge be also out of the question here?”
Trump, evasive again:
We are allowing tremendous numbers of people coming into this country that we know nothing about. We are -- we have a problem in this country. We`re going to have big problems. I have been pretty good at predicting things, John. We are going to have big problems. We have people coming into this country totally undocumented. They don`t know anything about them.
They don`t have paperwork. I interviewed and talked to the best law enforcement people in the business. There`s no way of knowing where they come from. And we`re taking them in from the so-called migration. They are being sent all over the country. We have people that don`t know what they`re doing. And we have to stop it.
Dickerson, doggedly: "My question is, if it were a Muslim judge, would you also feel like they wouldn`t be able to treat you fairly because of that policy of yours?"
Trump, realizing Dickerson would not let him off the hook, finally answered, “It`s possible, yes. Yes. That would be possible, absolutely.”
Dickerson followed up: “Isn`t there sort of a tradition, though, in America that we don`t judge people by who their parents were and where they came from?”
In all too typical “I’m-Donald-Trump-And-American_ Traditions-And-Values-Mean-Nothing-To-Me-Unless-They Benefit-Me” style, Trump replied belligerently: “I’m not talking about tradition. I’m talking about common sense. OK?”
As Charles Krauthammer has pointed out, Trump’s attacks on judges for supposed bias because of their heritage raise questions about whether a Trump presidency would tolerate an independent judiciary.