Geraldo Rivera and Dan Bongino squared off Thursday during a heated Fox News segment on Iran and the U.S. airstrike on Jan. 2 that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.
Both Rivera and Bongino joined Fox News host Sean Hannity — and immediately took up oppositional points. (RELATED: ‘You Are Way, Way Off Base’ – Geraldo Rivera And Dan Bongino Raise Their Voices In Fiery Migrant Caravan Debate)
Rivera began by claiming that the attack on Soleimani was not necessary, saying that the 25 Iranian-backed militia members killed after the death of the American contractor should have been retaliation enough.
“Geraldo, I would have kicked the crap out of them when they shot the drones down. Good thing I guess I’m not president,” Hannity responded.
“I don’t know what we are doing there,” Rivera continued. “We don’t need their oil anymore. Let them fight each other and eat each other alive.”
Hannity turned the topic back to Soleimani, asking, “What do you think he was doing in Baghdad? He was there to help Hezbollah kill Americans at the embassy. That’s what they were up to.”
Bongino jumped in then, adding, “Geraldo, he wasn’t there, Soleimani, you know, picking up cheesecakes.” He went on to inform Rivera that he was angry but he had chosen to wait until they were face to face before he responded.
“Unnecessary,” Rivera repeated.
“Unnecessary? Geraldo, let me ask you a very serious question. How many bodies — do you have an exact body count? Was Soleimani’s 600 dead Americans not enough? Is it like do we have to reach 1,000 first?” Bongino asked. “I mean, what did you think this guy did? He was guilty of ethnic cleansing.”
Rivera responded by recounting his own tours covering the Iraq war, noting the 600,000 or more casualties on the Iraqi side.
“That doesn’t give you the right to be wrong,” Bongino responded. “That doesn’t give you special insight to say things that are ridiculous. Soleimani was one of the world’s leading terrorists. This was an unabashedly good thing not just for the United States but for the world.”
“Is that going to be the new normal, Dan? Is this the new normal?”Rivera shot back. “That we assassinate the people we don’t like? He is the number two guy in the Iranian government —”
“People don’t like?” Bongino interrupted, recoiling visibly. “Geraldo, he sent 600 Americans hold home in body bags. It’s not like he showed up late for a birthday party. I mean, get your head out of your butt. Are you kidding me? People we don’t like?”
“I never insult you personally buddy. But you feel that you can go gutter surfing, I’m telling you right now that I disagree with this action,” Rivera concluded.
“Geraldo, this is nonsense what you are saying,” Bongino said.