Fox News host Megyn Kelly originally wanted to talk about House Speaker Paul Ryan's endorsement of Donald Trump. It was supposed to be one of the big segments on her show Thursday night.
Then Trump said a federal judge, Gonzalo Curiel, should be excluded from the Trump University case entirely because of his race and ethnicity. Specifically, Trump argued that Curiel's "Mexican heritage" and membership in a Hispanic lawyers group presented a "conflict of interest," since Trump wants to build a wall at the US-Mexico border.
Kelly was clearly livid. She said:
First of all, people are saying that this judge is a member of La Raza, the group that's been protesting Donald Trump. He isn't. He's a member of a Hispanic lawyers association that has no partisan stripes whatsoever. They support Hispanic lawyers and judges. That's it. So let's be clear on that.
Secondly, the man is not Mexican. Donald Trump keeps saying he is. He's American. His parents are Mexican. He's of Mexican heritage. He was born in Indiana.
Third, he has no conflict of interest, Bill. Now Donald Trump is saying the judge needs to be investigated, someone should look into him. Just because he's ruled against Donald Trump in this litigation repeatedly — he certified the class, and he denied the motion for summary judgment — that doesn't make you biased. It doesn't! …
[The Ryan endorsement] was going to be what we talked about tonight until this news broke moments ago: that Trump continues to attack a sitting federal judge, who, by the way, did a lot to fight the drug cartels when he was a prosecutor, based on his ethnicity, suggesting he has an inherent — inherent! — conflict of interest because of his heritage. "A Hispanic cannot judge a case against me": that is what Trump is saying — explicitly.
Kelly stopped short of explicitly calling Trump racist. But the presentation was one of the clearest examples I've seen yet — on Fox News, no less — of a mainstream media journalist slamming Trump for his racist remarks.