Fox News anchor Dana Perino let Geraldo Rivera have it on Wednesday’s broadcast of “The Five,” calling him out over his assessment of the photos — of Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Agents on horseback swinging their reins — that started a social media firestorm of claims that the agents had been whipping migrants.
The panel addressed reports that President Joe Biden’s administration planned to discipline the agents despite an investigation that had not yielded any evidence the agents had done anything wrong or even outside the scope of their normal duties — and despite conceding that the agents did not deserve to be disciplined, Rivera pivoted to note that the optics of the situation had been bad.
"That's so wrong! You're a lawyer, how can you say this?" @DanaPerino gives @GeraldoRivera an earful over DHS plans to "discipline" CBP agents for doing their job while on horseback. pic.twitter.com/h6chDIxN5Z
— Virginia Kruta (@VAKruta) June 15, 2022
Perino, who grew up on a ranch, argued that from the beginning the situation had been misread by people who had never spent any time around horses and had no idea what they were looking at. “They convicted these guys before they even investigated,” she said, adding that the only thing the agents deserved — after being relegated to desk duty immediately after the incident — was an apology.
Co-host Jesse Watters joked that if the CBP agents had hoisted the migrants onto their horses and ridden them into the country, Biden might have given them awards instead.
“Nonsense! I defer to Dana, who is very measured in her emotions and when she says this is the worst thing she’d seen, I respect that deeply,” Rivera said in response. “Because I know you don’t —”
Perino interrupted, noting that the baby formula shortage was “really bad too.”
Rivera went on to claim that when it came to immigration, Haitians often seemed to get “the short end of the stick” — arguing that they were turned back at the border in greater numbers than migrants from other nations.
Perino objected, but Rivera pivoted then to address the Border Patrol, saying, “This is, you must admit, when you look at this visual — put up a shot, put up any of the shots of that series —”
“That’s so wrong!” Perino interrupted. “You’re a lawyer, how can you say this?”
“You’re a lawyer,” co-host Greg Gutfeld echoed.
“You have four grown ups, and they’re riding these big horses,” Rivera continued. “You got these people that just walked 5,000 miles —”
“Oh, my God …” Perino interjected, and then everyone jumped in at once.
“— risking everything, and now there’s big macho guys —” Rivera tried again.
“How would you handle it, Geraldo?” Watters challenged.
“Big macho guys … you can’t even give these guys a little … you can’t apologize for being wrong on this,” Gutfeld added.
“I am delighted that they are not being criminally prosecuted,” Rivera said, prompting Gutfeld to fire back, “That’s not true.”
“Don’t tell me what I am feeling,” Rivera objected. “You can have your opinion, but don’t have my opinion … I think this whole sorry chapter is better off in the rear view.”