This was probably not the triumphant reaction President Donald Trump was expecting when he turned on his favorite show the morning after he ordered a deadly drone strike on Iran’s top military commander.
Appearing on Friday morning’s Fox & Friends, the network’s correspondent-at-large Geraldo Rivera shocked the show’s hosts by angrily railing against Trump’s decision to assassinate Qassem Soleimani. Rivera warned that while Trump may have taken out the “queen bee” with his drone strike, he’s now made the entire hive very angry. It was a statement that made his Fox colleagues explode in rage.
“We have been fighting bees,” Rivera explained. “The bees have been swarming all over us... They attacked our bases, they took out the contractor, they took out a bunch of other people, they killed a lot of people over the years. What we have done is killed the queen bee. The hive is now busted open. I fear the worst. I think that what we have done is unleash the bees, to keep that metaphor going.”
Rivera’s metaphor went down badly with the Fox & Friends hosts. In response, Brian Kilmeade parroted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s claim from Friday morning that the strike was ordered to disrupt an unspecified “imminent attack,” which Pompeo claimed had been uncovered by U.S. intelligence and was being orchestrated by Soleimani.
Rivera responded sarcastically, “Yeah, the U.S. intelligence has been excellent since 2003 when we invaded Iraq, disrupted the entire region, for no real reason.” Turning to Kilmeade, Rivera added, “Don’t for a minute start cheering this on. You, like Lindsey Graham, have never met a war you didn’t like.”
Kilmeade snapped back, “That is not true. Do not even say that.” The host added that he certainly will “cheer on” Soleimani’s death.
But the argument only spiraled from there. Kilmeade went on to accuse Rivera of “making excuses for Iran”—a comment which sparked Rivera to slam his desk and shout: “DAMN IT! I’m not making excuses for them! That’s absolute baloney!”
“Your arrogance is exactly what’s wrong with the region,” Rivera shouted at Kilmeade. “You’re not a frontline fighter that has to go back into Iraq again. You want Americans back in Iraq. I was there when they were getting killed, five, six, seven a day... This is a fraught decision that will have implications far beyond the celebratory moment of taking out the terrorist.”
As the segment drew to a close, Rivera tried to patch up the rift, saying, slightly unconvincingly, “I love you, you know I do, even Brian, sometimes I hold my nose but I love the guy. He’s so... brilliant.”