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Democrats attack Trump over racism allegations

Posted at 6:45 PM, Jun 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-06 22:06:43-04

Nevada Democrats are calling Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump a "shameless racist" over comments the billionaire businessman made about a Hispanic judge.

Several state party leaders held a press conference Monday decrying Trump's allegation that U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel is biased against him in a Trump University lawsuit because of his Mexican heritage.

Democratic Assemblyman Nelson Araujo, whose parents came to the U.S. from El Salvador, said Trump's accusations were unacceptable especially in states like Nevada with large immigrant populations.

"This is outrageous behavior for the presidential nominee of a major party," Araujo said. "Alleging that someone can't perform their job because of their ethnic heritage is just plain racist."

Democratic party chairwoman Roberta Lange, Araujo and attorney Jessica Cruz spoke at the press conference in the party's Las Vegas headquarters.

In an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, Trump said Curiel was treating him "unfairly" because of the Republican's oft-stated plan to build a wall along the border with Mexico.

"This judge is of Mexican heritage," Trump said of the Indiana-born Curiel. "I'm building a wall."

Lange said the party plans to connect Trump's provocative comments to Nevada Republicans who have endorsed the candidate.

"The racist comments aren't a new trend for Donald Trump," she said. "They are his brand."