WASHINGTON (UPI) — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., released a fake press release on behalf of Speaker Paul Ryan, mocking him for hiding from reporters in the wake of Donald Trump’s comments about a federal judge that Ryan called “textbook racist.”
Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, sent out the press release on Twitter, noting Ryan canceled his weekly press conference Wednesday. Ryan said the cancellation was due to events related to the state visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whom Ryan was hosting at the Capitol prior to Modi’s speech to a joint session of Congress.
Pelosi’s office threw cold water on the announcement, saying, “Speaker Paul Ryan will not be available to answer your questions today about his surrender to Donald Trump.”
The taunts came a day after Ryan and other House Republicans were blindsided at a press conference meant to unveil their new policy prescriptions on poverty for the general election. Instead, Ryan faced a barrage of questions about Trump’s controversial remarks about Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the presiding federal judge in class action lawsuits related to Trump University.
Though the judge was born in Indiana, Trump referred to him as “Mexican” and later said Curiel’s “Mexican heritage” — the judge’s parents emigrated from Mexico — made him unable to give Trump a fair trial. The Trump campaign has also criticized Curiel for his membership in the group La Raza Lawyers of San Diego, which is related to the National Council of La Raza.
Ryan termed Trump’s remarks “textbook racist” and said they should be disavowed. Ryan said he would still continue to support Trump as the Republican nominee despite the controversy.
Pelosi’s office pointed out the awkward position.
“Speaker Ryan has canceled his regular Wednesday press conference so you don’t ask him about Donald Trump’s racist commentary against a federal judge and why, ahead of their national security agenda rollout [Thursday], the House GOP wants to hand the nuclear codes to a person who engages in textbook racism,” the fake news release said.
Trump said yesterday that his comments about the judge have been “misconstrued.”
“Based on the rulings that I have received in the Trump University civil case, I feel justified in questioning whether I am receiving a fair trial,” he said.
“I don’t care if the judge is Mexican or not,” Trump told Bill O’Reilly of Fox News on Monday night. “All I want him to do is give me a fair shake.”
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