Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refused three times on Sunday to admit that Donald Trump’s attack on U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s Latino heritage was “racist.”
During an interview on Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd pointed out that Trump had argued that Curiel could not be impartial in a case against Trump University “because he’s Hispanic.”
“Is that not a racist statement?” Todd asked the Kentucky Republican.
“I couldn’t disagree more with a statement like that,” McConnell replied.
“Is it a racist statement?” Todd pressed.
“I couldn’t disagree more with what he had to say,” McConnell repeated robotically.
“Okay,” Todd said, trying again for answer. “But do you think it’s a racist statement?”
“I don’t agree with what he had to say,” McConnell remarked, reciting the talking point again.
The NBC host noted that Red State founder Erick Erickson had blasted his own party for refusing to condemn Trump’s “racism” against the judge.
“But the Party of Lincoln intends to circle the wagons around a racist,” Erickson wrote on Saturday. “Damn them for that.”
McConnell quipped in response: “I think the party of Lincoln wants to win the White House.”
Watch the video below.