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Story highlights

"I thought it was very tough to the African-American community, actually," Trump said

"I don't like what he said," Trump added

Washington CNN —  

Donald Trump says Justice Antonin Scalia’s comments about black students performing better in “slower-track” universities are “very tough” to African-Americans.

“I thought it was very tough to the African-American community, actually,” Trump told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an interview that aired Sunday on “State of the Union.”

“I don’t like what he said,” Trump added. “No, I don’t like what he said. I heard him, I was like, ‘Let me read it again’ because I actually saw it in print, and I’m going – I read a lot of stuff – and I’m going, ‘Whoa!’ “

Scalia has been criticized for comments he made Wednesday during the Supreme Court’s hearing of an affirmative action case in which he seemed to suggest that some African-Americans belong in lesser colleges.

“There are those who contend that it does not benefit African-Americans to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a less – a slower-track school where they do well,” Scalia said. “One of the briefs pointed out that most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas.”

LISTEN: Supreme Court releases audio of Justice Antonin Scalia

Trump previously said he was “fine with affirmative action” on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The mogul has, however, been criticized for comments about the Black Lives Matter movement and for retweeting false, racially charged crime data from a non-existent group.

RELATED: Trump on protester: ‘Maybe he should have been roughed up’

But Trump, who was recently endorsed by several black pastors, spoke to Tapper about his relationships with black Americans while criticizing President Barack Obama.

“I have great African-American friendships. I have just amazing relationships, and so many positive things have happened,” Trump said.

“One thing I will say, and I will say this, and I say it to everybody: Barack Obama has done very little for the African-American community. You look at unemployment, you look at all of the problems. But yeah, I was very surprised at Scalia’s statements actually,” he added.

RELATED: Pelosi calls on Scalia to recuse himself from discrimination cases

On Saturday, however, Trump called Scalia “terrific” at a campaign event while telling South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson that his “favorite justice” is Clarence Thomas, calling the court’s only black justice “underrated.”

“Scalia’s terrific, but Clarence Thomas has been so consistent,” he said in Aiken, South Carolina. “He has been very, very strong and consistent and I really respect that.”