Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera says the Baghdad airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani was a strategic error against a U.S. “friend” who “saved people.”
A “Fox & Friends” panel was injected with heated rhetoric on Friday when Mr. Rivera defended the Quds force leader’s résumé in a discussion with Ainsley Earhardt, Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy.
“Six months ago, Ainsley, this guy was our friend,” Mr. Rivera said. “We may not have loved him, but he was our ally in the fight against ISIS. Everyone, do we remember ISIS? It’s like ISIS never existed. ISIS had a caliphate. They were cutting people’s heads off. Wait a second — they were burning Americans! We know who ISIS is. Who helped us defeat ISIS? This same guy! Soleimani. He saved people. The Iranians [saved people].”
Mr. Kilmeade countered that Iran has funneled money to Quds — a designated terrorist group — for years while its own people suffer.
“You’re making excuses for Iran,” Mr. Kilmeade said at one point.
“Damn it, I’m not making excuses for Iran. That’s absolute baloney,” Mr. Rivera exclaimed. “Your arrogance is exactly what’s wrong with the region. You’re not front line fighter that has to go back into Iraq.”
“[Soleimani] supported the whole insurgency,” Mr. Kilmeade responded.
President Trump told Americans on Friday that killing Soleimani was the right move — and long overdue.
“General Qassem Soleimani has killed or badly wounded thousands of Americans over an extended period of time, and was plotting to kill many more … but got caught,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “He was directly and indirectly responsible for the death of millions of people, including the recent large number of PROTESTERS killed in Iran itself.”