Geraldo Rivera shocked a live Fox News studio audience after sharing an eyebrow-raising assessment of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
The Fox News correspondent-at-large sparked gasps and negative reactions from those watching “Fox & Friends” in the studio on Friday when he commented on how President Trump’s lawyer has seemed to “deteriorate” over the Ukraine controversy.
(Video: Fox News)
“I’ve known him since he was a newly-appointed U.S. attorney in the Southern District here in New York,” Rivera commented following Giuliani’s appearance on the set earlier in the program.
“Then he became America’s mayor, and we all lived through that trauma with him when he was the most magnificent elected official on earth,” he added, apparently referring to the former New York City mayor’s leadership following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
“To see him kind of deteriorate right before your very eyes … and I love the guy —” Rivera lamented in reaction to Giuliani’s earlier interview in which he offered his take on corruption in Ukraine and the connection to former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
The “Fox & Friends” hosts had a wild ride with Giuliani and all the points he tried to get across before co-host Steve Doocy declared “we’re done!”
But to Rivera, Giuliani was a far cry from the man he once knew and his association with “sleaze bag” Lev Parnas was apparently going too far.
“What do you mean?” Doocy asked Rivera to elaborate on his remarks about the fall of Giuliani.
“First of all, he went to Ukraine to do what, as what?” he asked, wondering why Giuliani would not be sent to Ukraine as an official envoy of the U.S. government.
“Why wasn’t he appointed a presidential envoy with an official title to go do a righteous job to probe?” Rivera asked. “It bothers me also that he’s hanging out with Lev Parnas, this sleaze bag.”
“I don’t know him, I only know him from what he has done and said apparently for the president and then against the president, he seems to be a treacherous, back-stabbing self-serving con who is trying to avoid jail time,” Rivera said. “He reminds me a lot like Michael Cohen, sleazier than Michael Cohen, Lev Parnas, by association.”
The Fox News co-hosts seemed at a momentary loss for words as Rivera continued his blunt analysis.
“What in the world is America’s mayor doing hanging out with a guy like Lev Parnas?” he asked.
“A lot of the people in the audience aren’t agreeing with you,” co-host Ainsley Earhardt interjected.
Before Doocy could address Rivera’s comments, the veteran journalist turned to face the audience and defended his view.
“I don’t come here for people to agree with me, I come to tell you how I feel from the bottom of my heart,” he said. “And from the bottom of my heart, I feel like Rudy Giuliani has been diminished by this entire saga, and I think the more he talks the worse it is for the president of the United States.”
The debate continued as Doocy attempted to defend Giuliani’s role in Ukraine while Rivera continued to rail against him not being sent as a U.S. envoy.
Rivera has been vocally defending Trump against the Democrats’ impeachment efforts against him, and noted Friday that Trump in the White House is “surrounded by a nest of vipers, snakes and backstabbers and rats.”
He reiterated in a tweet on Thursday that the president had every right to call for a Ukraine investigation.
Is what happened here Impeachable?#Ukraine got promised military aid in timely fashion.
Yes it took some Democrat tree shaking, but so what?#HunterBiden did have a funky job thanks to daddy.
It wasn’t illegal for @realDonaldTrump to seek an investigation. #NoCrimeNoConviction
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) January 22, 2020
But though Rivera’s remarks about Giuliani were not well received by the “Fox & Friends” audience, he doubled down on Twitter later saying he felt “strongly” about the points he had made.
Wasn’t popular w live @foxandfriends audience just now, but I feel strongly that my old friend @RudyGiuliani should’ve gone to #Ukraine as an officially designated Special Envoy for @realDonaldTrump, not as his personal lawyer. & why was Rudy hanging w sleazebags like #LevParnas?
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) January 24, 2020
Asked by Earhardt what he thought about the impeachment of Trump as she tried to change the heated topic Friday, Rivera said it was a “partisan sham.”
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