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Geraldo Rivera Spars With Fox & Friends Over Martha McSally: ‘I Don’t See Manu Raju as a Hack’

Geraldo Rivera defended CNN senior congressional correspondent Manu Raju from the hosts of Fox & Friends on Friday morning, calling Sen. Martha McSally rude for her insult of the reporter.

The Arizona Republican faced criticism Thursday for responding to a perfectly normal question from Raju, CNN’s pervasive mic and camera reporter on Capitol Hill, by twice calling him a “liberal hack.”

Speculation is that McSally, who once a moderate Republican and staunch critic of President Donald Trump (she called his behavior “disgusting” in 2016), is leaning into MAGA politics as a strategy ahead of a tough 2020 election fight in Arizona. She was certainly rewarded for the viral moment in certain circles, earning plaudits from Trump supporters and interviews on Fox News primetime. She’s even fundraising of the bitter exchange.

Rivera — who revealed in the segment has given up alcohol until the president is acquitted — responded to McSally by arguing “Truth is not an absolute defense to rudeness. Here is a guy trying to do his job.”

“Even though everything she’s saying about CNN has become true, sadly, in my view, 80-90% of it, anyway, has become anti-Trump and pro-Democrat I think.

“I think she can blow him off in a more gentle way,” he said.

Fox & Friends host Ainsley Earhardt speculated that Raju could have written something that McSally disagreed with, thereby earning the moniker “liberal hack.”

“What if he is a liberal hack, Geraldo?” asked guest co-host Pete Hegseth.

“I don’t see Manu Raju as a hack,” Rivera said, before accusing CNN chief Jeff Zucker of mandating staff to “do everything you can to destroy Donald Trump.”

“So your mandate is hatchery, so as a result, you’re out there as a hatchet man, so, therefore, you are a hack, whether it’s willful or not,” Hegseth replied.

There you have it folks — Pete Hegseth, who splits his time between attacking the press that dares to criticize of Trump while advising the president in secret, is accusing CNN’s widely respected congressional reporter of partisan hackery.

Watch above, via Fox News.

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: [email protected] Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin