A judge in Washington D.C. released videos of Donald Trump depositions from a lawsuit Trump filed against a restaurant owner who pulled out of a deal with Trump to put a restaurant in his new hotel there.
Watch the first part of Trump’s June 16 deposition in the video above. The second part of the deposition can be viewed in the following video.
The videos reveal Trump discussing his anti-Mexican remarks, including his campaign-opening comments that many Mexican immigrants are “rapists.” His comments about Mexicans and his reflections on his campaign remarks about them start around the 44:30 mark of the first video at the top of this page.
The videos were released as the result of petitions from a number of media organizations, including Buzzfeed, CNN, The Washington Post, NBC, ABC, CBS, and The Los Angeles Times.
The “Mexican” comments are relevant to the lawsuit because in the suit, which was brought by Trump against companies associated with celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian, in which Trump accuses Zakarian of violating a deal to put a restaurant in Trump’s new hotel in the D.C. Old Post Office Building, according to Politico.
Zakarian pulled out after Trump made his campaign remarks about Mexicans, in which Trump accused immigrants from Mexico of being “rapists” and “bringing crime” to the United States. But Trump in the suit accuses him of “grandstanding,” and saying that “it would have been better if they had done it quietly.”
Trump admits that the damages caused by Zakarian amounted to “a bad day of press.”
“I’m sure he felt great about it,” Trump says of Zakarian. “But it hurt me.”
In the video, Trump says that his remark attacking Mexicans as “rapists” was indeed pre-planned, though he says his speech was not formally scripted.
Relive Trump’s 2015 “Mexican rapists” speech in the video below. The remarks begin at the 1:20 mark.
Trump also discusses Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the judge in the Trump University lawsuit case, saying that he doesn’t know whether Curiel had a conflict of interest in the case simply because he is of Mexican ancestry. But in public statements just a couple of weeks before the deposition, Trump said that Curiel had “an absolute conflict” in the case due to his Mexican heritage, because Trump has proposed building a wall to keep out Mexican immigrants.
The tapes also reveal Trump’s attorneys worrying that remarks made by Trump in the depositions might become public and bemused against him, accusing the attorney for Zakarian of “trolling for something that might be leaked to the media.”
Trump and his lawyers fought the release of the tapes, saying that material they contain could be used against him in his campaign for president against Democrat Hillary Clinton. But D.C. Superior Court Judge Brian Holeman didn’t buy those arguments.
“This Court finds that Plaintiff has not demonstrated that any subject video deposition contains scandalous, libelous, or other unduly prejudicial material warranting denial of media access,” Holeman said, in a written ruling. “The public shall not be held captive by the suggested eventuality of partisan editing in a manner unfavorable to Plaintiff or the deponents.”
In the Trump University case, Trump has also sought to keep his video depositions sealed. In that case, Judge Curiel has taken Trump’s side and prevented their release.