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Trump surprised at GOP criticism of his comments on judge

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally May 26 at the Rimrock Auto Arena in Billings, Mont.

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump says he was surprised that Newt Gingrich hammered him for noting the Mexican ancestry of the American judge from East Chicago overseeing lawsuits against Trump University.

Trump told Fox News Channel on Monday that the former House speaker's criticism was "inappropriate."

Trump said he's only defending himself against relentless questions about Trump University by questioning the impartiality of U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel. Trump said most customers were satisfied with the school.

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Curiel grew up in East Chicago and practiced law in Dyer before moving to California in the 1980s. Still, Trump said, the judge cannot be impartial in the cases because Curiel's parents were born in Mexico and Trump wants to build a wall to keep people from sneaking over the border.

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Gingrich is one of several prominent Republicans urging Trump to lay off Curiel and unify the GOP.

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