Just six months after Geraldo Rivera said it’s “impossible” to deny that Donald Trump is a racist, the Fox News pundit declared Trump “a civil rights leader.”
On the day after Martin Luther King Day, Rivera appeared on Fox & Friends where he first acquitted Trump of any responsibility for problems in Puerto Rico resulting from Hurricane Maria. Rivera said he “was screaming after covering the hurricane for two weeks at how little the local government was doing to help the people. Then President Trump came down. President Trump then became the focus of all of the criticism. He got blamed for everything in a way that I, in my little voice, was saying, wait a second, that’s not fair. He just got here, what about the people that put the rotten telephone poles in? What about the people that didn’t trim the trees over the wires? What about the people who bought the worst kind of crude oil when they paid for the best kind of crude oil?”
Cohost Steve Doocy did his part: “What about the money that just vanished?” he “asked.”
FACT CHECK: The Trump administration’s response was sluggish and inept and Trump sent repeated signals that he didn’t care.
While Trump’s Fox Friends were criticizing the Puerto Ricans, it was a neat sleight of hand that distracted from the fact that nobody actually defended Trump’s response.
Later, after Trump spoke for a few minutes from Switzerland, Rivera sang Trump’s civil rights praises.
RIVERA: The American economy is the envy of the world. He is and I call him, to great controversy, a civil rights leader, especially yesterday on Martin Luther King Day because why? African American unemployment, lowest it’s ever been. Latino unemployment lowest it’s ever been. … This rising tide is lifting all boats. We should be celebrating, instead he is fighting this cage match [of impeachment].”
That’s funny because in July Rivera claimed that Trump’s “go back” tweets were a turning point that “made it impossible” to deny that Trump is a racist. In an interview with The New York Times, presumably on the record, Rivera said:
“As much as I have denied it and averted my eyes from it, this latest incident made it impossible,” Geraldo Rivera, a roaming correspondent at large for Fox News and longtime friend, said in an interview.
“My friendship with the president has cost me friendships, it has cost me schisms in the family, my wife and I are constantly at odds about the president,” he added. “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.”
You can watch the “Trump is a civil rights leader who loves African Americans and Latinos” version of Rivera below, from the January 21, 2020 Fox & Friends.
On Fox & Friends, Geraldo Rivera calls Donald Trump "a civil rights leader." pic.twitter.com/1i1n1u3K1E— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) January 21, 2020
You have to wonder what the Putin/Trump kompromat machine has on Rivero. Dead girls? Live boys? Maybe an Epstein connection?
Regarding profile in moral cowardice, Geraldo, Fox’s go-to registered Republican ‘liberal’ is just quoting Trump.
The economy helping minorities and women is proof Trump is a civil rights champion. Really? It’s an ‘effing canard! Geraldo says this in the same breath as the cliche a ’good economy floats all boats’. Well, if Trump is floating all boats then his economic policy isn’t leadership targeting specific civil rights. No?
Oh, and where did this economic miracle come from? Maybe helped by Trump juicing the economy with an additional $1,000,000,000,000.00 in debt per year! Thank you so much GOP, party devoted to fiscal responsibility!
Meanwhile Trump does target minorities and the needy with stuff like just expanding his Muslim ban to more countries. He famously gutted the DoJ civil rights division. He’s setting wealth guidelines to keep poor Hispanics from entering the country in addition to all the other ICE abuses like agents raping detainees, neglect of detainees, family separations, forcing asylum seekers stay south of our border and recent immigrant deaths. He’s cutting Social Security benefits to the disabled. He plans on cutting funding to Medicaid with block grants via policy. Yep, Trump is a real humanitarian.
Personally, I think that the most consequential charge is “obstruction of congress”, not the Ukraine affair. There’s no way to spin the WH’s refusal to provide documents or allow witnesses as anything but a total violation of the system of checks and balances.
One must wonder how Rivera will deal with this clip coming back to haunt him in the coming years.