"What the hell?": Geraldo blows up on "Fox & Friends" host who defends "send her back" chants

Pete Hegseth incredulously claimed Donald Trump's "not talking about race" in his original "go back" tweets

By Sophia Tesfaye
Published July 19, 2019 12:27PM (EDT)
Geraldo Rivera (Credit: Fox News)
Geraldo Rivera (Credit: Fox News)

Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera on Friday schooled “Fox & Friends” host Pete Hegseth when he tried to claim that President Donald Trump’s racist tweets telling four Democratic women of color to “go back” to their countries weren’t racist.

While discussing Trump’s racist tweets, Hegseth argued that Trump wasn’t being racist because he never specifically mentioned anyone’s race when he told four American citizens who happened to be nonwhite to “go back” to the places they or their ancestors came from.

“He’s talking about whether you love this country and appreciate it,” Hegseth said. “And if you don’t appreciate it, don’t love it, don’t want to work to make it better, you could consider going somewhere else.”

“What the hell!” Rivera exclaimed. “Come on, Pete! This is their country, they’re citizens of the United States!”

Hegseth tried to argue that it’s completely acceptable to tell American citizens to “go back” to other countries if they complain about the president, but Geraldo once again put his foot down.

“You can’t say that to me!” he said. “I’ve gotten into ten street fights based on that, saying to me, because I’m Puerto Rican, go back… Once you make citizenship conditional on your political loyalties, you’re on a very dangerous path here.”

Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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