Trump made no apologies for his recent rhetoric regarding Judge Gonzalo Curiel. In fact, Bloomberg reported, Trump told his closest supporters in a call on Monday to continue the barrage of attacks against the judge.
According to two sources on the call, Trump told his surrogates to disregard an earlier directive that told the surrogates “they’re not authorized to discuss matters concerning the Trump Organization including corporate news such as the Trump University case.”
When former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who was on the call, explained that the order came from Trump’s own staff, Trump said, “Take that order and throw it the hell out.”
The memo went out on Sunday from Erica Freeman, a staffer on the campaign whom Trump later said he didn’t know and was sent to his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski; Hope Hicks, a top communications staffer; and Rick Gates, a top aide to the campaign’s chairman Paul Manafort.
Trump went on to ask, “Are there any other stupid letters that were sent to you folks That’s one of the reasons I want to have this call, because you guys are getting sometimes stupid information from people that aren’t so smart.”
Trump said he “should have won this thing years ago” and once again pointed to Judge Curiel’s affiliation with La Raza Lawyers of California, a Latino bar association.
A third source told CNN, “He believes in his case and I don’t think he’s going to back down on Judge Curiel.”
According to Bloomberg, Trump also told his staff to continue attacking the media, saying reporters are the ones who are racist, not him: “I would go at ’em,” he said.
Hicks declined to provide specifics on what was discussed on the call.
“It was a very positive call to discuss overall messaging and, more importantly, to thank surrogates for their incredible support throughout the primaries as they come to an end,” Hicks said.
The news comes after a controversial weekend for the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee. In an interview on Sunday Trump doubled down on his rhetoric against Judge Curiel, repeatedly insisting the judge is Mexican.
Fellow Republicans have weighed in since the weekend, saying they cannot agree with Trump’s rhetoric but still maintaining their support for their party’s candidate.
Sen. Marco Rubio, one of Trump’s former competitors, just recently publicized his support for his party’s frontrunner. But on Monday he returned to his old stance.
“I told everyone that this is what would happen,” he reported to CNN. “That we would continue to be faced with this very difficult choice, as we are, as many of us have been, between Hillary Clinton and Donald. This is not where I wanted us to be.”
New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who said she “supports” Trump but will not “endorse” him, on Monday said Trump’s comments are “offensive and wrong, and he should retract them.”
Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, a vocal supporter of Trump, expressed his disagreement with Trump’s language but did not go past that.
“This is a man who was born in Indiana,” McConnell said of the judge. “All of us came here from somewhere else.”
However, when asked if Trump’s language is racist McConnell did not give an answer, stating only, “I couldn’t disagree more with a statement like that.”