According to two anonymous sources quoted in a Bloomberg News report, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told campaign surrogates to press home his attacks on the judge hearing the Trump University lawsuit. Trump says U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel should recuse himself from the case because of his Mexican heritage.
Trump reportedly told those on a conference call on Monday to attack journalists.
“I’d let them have it,” he said.
“The people asking the questions — those are the racists,” Trump said, according to the Bloomberg report that quoted two people on the call. “I would go at ’em.”
Trump projected confidence during the call, the sources told Bloomberg.
“We will overcome,” Trump reportedly said. “And I’ve always won and I’m going to continue to win. And that’s the way it is.”
The call featured one flashpoint, when former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer told Trump that his campaign itself told surrogates not to discuss the lawsuit against Trump University.
“Take that order and throw it the hell out,” Trump reportedly said.
“Are there any other stupid letters that were sent to you folks?” he later added. “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.”
Bloomberg reported that an email by campaign staffer Erica Freeman told surrogates that “they’re not authorized to discuss matters concerning the Trump Organization including corporate news such as the Trump University case.”
“The best possible response is ‘the case will be tried in the courtroom in front of a jury —not in the media,’” according to the email, which was obtained by Bloomberg.