Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Defense: Trump doubles down on claim Iran attacked tankers | Iran calls accusations 'alarming' | Top nuke official quietly left Pentagon | Pelosi vows Congress will block Saudi arms sale Overnight Defense: Trump doubles down on claim Iran attacked tankers | Iran calls accusations 'alarming' | Top nuke official quietly left Pentagon | Pelosi vows Congress will block Saudi arms sale McConnell defends Trump amid backlash: 'He gets picked at every day' MORE (R-Ky.) on Sunday criticized Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' DC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' Mexico's immigration chief resigns amid US pressure over migrants MORE's recent attacks on a California judge but would not call the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's statement "racist."

"I couldn't disagree more with a statement like that," McConnell said on NBC's "Meet the Press" in an interview that aired Sunday morning, referring to Trump's comments.

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"I couldn't disagree more with what he had to say," he added when pressed on whether Trump made a "racist" statement.

Trump last week criticized Judge Gonzalo Curiel, questioning whether the judge could be impartial as he oversees lawsuits against Trump University.

Trump said Curiel's "Mexican heritage" is an "absolute conflict" in three civil fraud lawsuits against the presumptive GOP nominee. He said the judge is biased because of Trump's calls for a wall along the country's border with Mexico.

McConnell said the judge was born in Indiana and defended his heritage. 

"All of us came here from somewhere else," McConnell said.

"That's an important part of what makes America work."

McConnell also noted that he's concerned about the Hispanic vote.

"I think it's a big mistake for our party to write off Latino Americans. They are an important part of our country," he said.

"And so I am concerned about that, and I hope he'll change his direction on that."

Still, though, McConnell said Trump is a "competitive candidate" and said this is a good time for him to start to "unify the party." 

“Senator McConnell’s evasions are exactly the kind of moral cowardice that led to Donald Trump’s rise,” Kristen Orthman, a spokesperson for Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidImpeachment will reelect Trump Impeachment will reelect Trump Biden faces first crisis as front-runner MORE (D-Nev.), said in a statement on Sunday.

--This report was updated at 1:59 p.m.