Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says he is not defending Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpJoint Chiefs chairman denies report that US is planning to keep 1K troops in Syria Kansas Department of Transportation calls Trump 'delusional communist' on Twitter Trump has privately voiced skepticism about driverless cars: report MORE’s controversial remarks about a Hispanic judge a week after publishing an op-ed about the controversy.

“I’m not supporting Donald Trump’s comments,” he said Monday on CNN of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee's criticism of Judge Gonzalo Curiel. "I didn’t write what I wrote in support of his comments. I didn’t write what I wrote in support of the notion that the judge should be recused solely on his race.


“I wrote to say Donald Trump, like every litigant in the United States, has the right to a fair trial before an impartial judge.”

Gonzales said Trump is legally entitled to a judge fairly overseeing lawsuits against his Trump University program. Gonzales published an op-ed last Saturday defending Trump’s criticism of Curiel’s impartiality toward him.

“This is not about the judge,” he said. "This is about a litigant getting a fair trial before an impartial judge. That’s the reason I wrote the piece.

“If there are any questions relating to that impartiality, even the appearance of impropriety is enough to cause a judge to recuse himself, then there should be a recusal.”

Trump has repeatedly insisted Curiel’s Mexican heritage may make the judge biased on account of the billionaire’s immigration policies.

Gonzales on Saturday said Trump has reasons beyond race to doubt that Curiel, who is American, will treat him fairly.

He noted Curiel is a member of La Raza Lawyers of San Diego, which Trump aides say is affiliated with a national group, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), that is vociferously opposing the presumptive GOP nominee.

The Washington Post on Saturday reported that the NCLR is unaffiliated with La Raza Lawyers of San Diego, adding Curiel is not a member of the national group.

Gonzales last Saturday noted that Curiel has appointed the Robin Gellers law firm to represent plaintiffs, noting Geller is a donor to Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP lawmaker defends Chelsea Clinton after confrontation over New Zealand attacks Klobuchar: Race, gender should not be litmus tests for 2020 Dem nominee Kirsten Gillibrand officially announces White House run MORE

“These circumstances, while not necessarily conclusive, at least raise a legitimate question to be considered,” said Gonzales, who was attorney general under President George W. Bush.