Conservative television personality Geraldo Rivera stopped by Fox & Friends on Friday, butting heads with guest co-host Pete Hegseth over President Donald Trump’s recent Twitter controversy, and his recent rally where chants of “send her back” drew further criticism.
Trump came under fire after encouraging four congress members to “go back” to the countries from which they came, despite three of the four having been born in the United States. The tweet has been slammed by many as being racist.
Hegseth defended the President’s tweet — and the rally chant — telling Rivera, “If you go back and look at that tweet he’s not talking about race. He’s talking about whether or not you love this country and appreciate it.” He added, “If you don’t appreciate it and don’t love it and don’t want to work to make it better then maybe you could consider going somewhere else.”
Rivera expressed his objection to Hegseth’s defense of the tweet, shouting “What the hell, Pete?” He continued, “This is their country. They’re citizens of the United States. You cannot say that.”
Hegseth fired back, “They could say that to me.” Geraldo countered, “Some things are intolerable. You cannot say that. You can’t say it to me. I’ve had 10 street fights with people who have said that to me.”
Viewers on Twitter were split, with many applauding Rivera for slamming Hegseth’s defense of the president’s tweets:
‘What the hell, Pete!’ Geraldo blows up on Fox & Friends host for saying ‘send her back’ chants weren’t racist | Raw Story. @GeraldoRivera Thank u Geraldo! I believe n giving credit where it’s due. U did good here👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 https://t.co/cp1j03QhJg— Old Aunt Harriet (@mamarocks54) July 19, 2019
See @GeraldoRivera This is why I will still defend you sometimes. I know once you get past the false bravado that deep down you're a good person. It's okay to be a republican, just not alt-right and you're clearly a republican. Thank you for standing up and saying the right thing https://t.co/DNCq6zlrq7— Fourteenstories (@JasonQuinter) July 19, 2019
Other felt Hegseth was in the right, and that Trump’s tweets weren’t an issue:
Right on @PeteHegseth today on @foxandfriends w/ @GeraldoRivera! There’s nothing at all racist by saying if you don’t like this country, leave. So tired of the childish behavior from Dems. Debate, compromise, act & repeat. Give & take MUST happen, & if u don’t like it then leave.— Chris McFiggins (@CMcFigginsUSMC) July 19, 2019
@foxandfriends - I totally agree with Pete on this subject of "send her back". I want to know when you are going to stop inviting Geraldo (a wannabe Jerry Springer) on your show. Such a detriment to the other guests you invite.— Dorothy Sadler (@DorDSMc) July 19, 2019
Meghan McCain slams fellow conservative Kellyanne Conway:
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