Geraldo Rivera on Trump 'go back' tweets: His critics 'were much more right than I'

WASHINGTON – Saying "critics were much more right than I," Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera over the weekend distanced himself from President Donald Trump following the president's tweets calling on four Democratic congresswomen of color to "go back" to their countries.

Rivera, a longtime friend of Trump, expressed his misjudgment of the president in remarks published Saturday in a New York Times report. He said that his relationship with Trump "cost me friendships, it has cost me schisms in the family, my wife and I are constantly at odds about the president."

“I do insist that he’s been treated unfairly. But the unmistakable words, the literal words he said, is an indication that the critics were much more right than I," he told the Times. “As much as I have denied it and averted my eyes from it, this latest incident made it impossible."

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Trump on June 14 criticized four progressive congresswomen of color on Twitter, suggesting that they to "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came." The congresswomen, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, have rebuked Trump's language, calling him a racist.

All four congresswomen are U.S. citizens and three of them were born in the U.S.. Omar immigrated from Somalia to the United States over 20 years ago and is a naturalized citizen.

The House last week formally condemned Trump's "go back" tweet as racist.

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The president, however, has repeatedly doubled down on his statements and denied that his remarks are racist. A "send her back" chant erupted at one of the president's rallies in North Carolina last week when Trump began bashing Omar. Although Trump initially denounced the chant, he later called those attending his rally "patriots."

He also criticized the four progressive congresswomen, who are colloquially known as "The Squad," in tweets Monday as a "very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart."

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Geraldo Rivera: Donald Trump critics 'were much more right than I'