The Fox News personality made what he acknowledged was a divisive claim on Tuesday’s broadcast of “Fox & Friends,” one of Trump’s favorite shows, the day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Trump and his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., earlier both drew widespread condemnation for attempting to make MLK Day all about themselves.
“Because why?” Rivera said. “African American unemployment, lowest it’s ever been. Latino unemployment, lowest it’s ever been. This rising tide, this rising tide is lifting all boats. We should be celebrating. Instead, he’s fighting this, this, you know, this cage match.”
Rivera also said he felt “awful for” Trump for facing the Senate impeachment trial over the Ukraine scandal during his trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
On Fox & Friends, Geraldo Rivera calls Donald Trump "a civil rights leader." pic.twitter.com/1i1n1u3K1E— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) January 21, 2020
Critics on Twitter bashed Rivera by pointing out Trump’s history of racist rhetoric and policies, including separating migrant children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border.
What's wrong with Geraldo? Civil rights leader who puts kids in cages? Fox News be paying good money to get folks to say crazy lies. Like saying Steve Miller loves black and brown people on Saturdays.— Ernest Brewer Jr (@momobrewer) January 21, 2020
As you may recall, Trump's first ever mention in the New York Times was an article about the DOJ pursuing race discrimination charges because he wouldn't rent apartments to black people https://t.co/8D8T1WaA8S https://t.co/HfqCq8CKYY pic.twitter.com/NN8q7txKIk— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) January 21, 2020
Honest mistake. Geraldo meant "Civil War Leader."https://t.co/QrKS7SrVZe— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) January 21, 2020
Geraldo says Old Boy's a 'civil rights leader.'— Plastic Sandwich (@JoelMarshallSm1) January 21, 2020
K. Conway says he's like MLK. https://t.co/YzLlmvjgoh
Civil rights in Trumpworld means protecting the rights of white Christians (there is an office of Conscience and Freedom inside HHS dedicated to this). Christians=mainly Evangelicals & right-wing Catholics w ties to Opus Dei). https://t.co/bC0L9QrTLN— Ruth Ben-Ghiat (@ruthbenghiat) January 21, 2020