Trump has accused US District Judge Gonzalo Curiel of harbouring a bias against him in lawsuits involving fraud allegations against Trump University, the New York business man’s now-defunct real estate school.
The presumptive Republican nominee has suggested Curiel’s Mexican-American heritage had influenced the judge’s opinion because of Trump’s campaign pledge to build a wall on the US-Mexico border.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he “couldn’t disagree more” with Trump’s comments about the judge.
“I am concerned about the Hispanic vote, America is changing,” McConnell told Meet The Press.
“I think it’s a big mistake for our party to write off Latino Americans. I am concerned about that and I hope he will change his direction on that.”
Democrats have accused Trump of racially tinged rhetoric about Latinos, including his description of Mexican immigrants as “criminals and rapists” in the speech he gave a year ago launching his campaign.
Former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has been mentioned as a possible running mate to Trump, called Trump’s comments about the judge “inexcusable.”
“This is one of the worst mistakes Trump has made,” Gingrich told Fox News.
Curiel was born in Indiana to Mexican-immigrant parents.
“He is a member of a club very strongly pro Mexican, which is all fine. But I say he’s got bias,” Trump said.