Even though Speaker of the House Paul Ryan called presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s statement about Judge Gonzalo Curiel a “textbook definition of a racist comment,” he’s still encouraging members of Congress to support Trump.
Ryan stressed unity during a meeting with several members on Wednesday.
“Trump’s comments have sparked a fury on Capitol Hill where many Republicans worry that Trump’s racially tinged criticism of Judge Gonzalo Curiel could ultimately hurt down-ballot GOP candidates competing in congressional races this year,” CNN reports. “Though Ryan didn’t back away from his endorsement, he said he would continue to speak out when he believed the billionaire businessman makes inappropriate statements.”
Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) said Ryan “just reaffirmed his disagreement with the comment, respecting that the people have elected Donald Trump as our Republican nominee and what we’re going to do is we’re going to use our position in a positive way to help America out.”
Trump is facing backlash after saying he thinks Curiel, who is overseeing a fraud case against Trump University, was biased because of his Mexican heritage in light of Trump’s stance on illegal immigration and plan to build a wall.