'When did we become the party of child abuse?': Geraldo Rivera rips Trump's zero tolerance policy in Sean Hannity interview that went off the rails

  • In an interview with Sean Hannity on Tuesday night, Fox News commentator Geraldo Rivera ripped President Donald Trump's zero tolerance border policy, calling it "child abuse."
  • Rivera pushed back on Trump's false claims that he can't stop families from being separated at the border, calling on the president to stop his administration's policy.
  • "When did we become the party of child abuse?" Rivera said to Hannity in a heated exchange before they cut to commercial.

In an interview with Sean Hannity on Tuesday night, Fox News commentator Geraldo Rivera ripped President Donald Trump's zero tolerance border policy, calling it "child abuse" and "cruelty".

"This is cruelty as policy," Rivera said after Hannity accused the Democrats of playing politics. "This is an obscenity. This is the government of the United States and the president that we both love, advocating a system by which young children are torn from their mothers."

After Hannity tried to cut him off, Rivera continued by saying that people need to stand up to this immigration policy and do something.

"2,300 children have been torn from their parents forcibly!" Rivera said. "These are little babies, 18 months old. These are 10-year-olds with disabilities! Taken from their parents. This is impossible. We can't condone this. The Republicans are the party of faith and family. When did we become the party of child abuse?"

Hannity's other guest, conservative pundit Chris Farrell from Judicial Watch, attempted to jump into the conversation before Rivera once again reiterated that the policy is a form of child abuse.

Hannity said that it was up to Congress to sit down with Trump and put together an immigration bill for the separation policy to be ended — one of Trump's false claims about the issue — but Rivera said Trump should end it himself given that his administration implemented the zero-tolerance policy.

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'Tent city' for immigrant children separated from parents in Texas
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'Tent city' for immigrant children separated from parents in Texas
Raymondville, UNITED STATES: A futuristic USD 65 million tent city designed to hold about 2,000 illegal immigrants is pictured 10 April 2006 in Raymondville, Texas. The newly-constructed barbed-wire enclosed camp in the Rio Grande Valley will hold illegal immigrants for weeks to years until they can be returned to their home countires by US officials. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Immigrant children, many of whom have been separated from their parents under a new "zero tolerance" policy by the Trump administration, are being housed in tents next to the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas, U.S. June 18, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Immigrant children, many of whom have been separated from their parents under a new "zero tolerance" policy by the Trump administration, are shown walking in single file between tents in their compound next to the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas, U.S. June 18, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Immigrant children, many of whom have been separated from their parents under a new "zero tolerance" policy by the Trump administration, are being housed in tents next to the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas, U.S. June 18, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Immigrant children, many of whom have been separated from their parents under a new "zero tolerance" policy by the Trump administration, are shown walking in single file between tents in their compound next to the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas, U.S. June 18, 2018. Picture taken June 18, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
The inside of a dormitory at the Tornillo facility, a shelter for children of detained migrants, is seen in this photo provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in Tornillo, Texas, U.S., June 14, 2018. ACF/HHS/Handout via REUTERS Picture taken June 14, 2018. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Immigrant children, many of whom have been separated from their parents under a new "zero tolerance" policy by the Trump administration, walk in single file between tents in their compound next to the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas, U.S. June 18, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Immigrant children, many of whom have been separated from their parents under a new "zero tolerance" policy by the Trump administration, are shown walking in single file between tents in their compound next to the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas, U.S. June 18, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
The Tornillo facility, a shelter for children of detained migrants, is seen in this photo provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in Tornillo, Texas, U.S., June 14, 2018. ACF/HHS/Handout via REUTERS Picture taken June 14, 2018. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Immigrant children, many of whom have been separated from their parents under a new "zero tolerance" policy by the Trump administration, are being housed in tents by the Department of Homeland Security next to the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas, U.S. June 18, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Immigrant children, many of whom have been separated from their parents under a new "zero tolerance" policy by the Trump administration, are shown walking in single file between tents in their compound next to the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas, U.S. June 18, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
The Tornillo facility, a shelter for children of detained migrants, is seen in this photo provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in Tornillo, Texas, U.S., June 14, 2018. ACF/HHS/Handout via REUTERS Picture taken June 14, 2018. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
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A fellow New Yorker who also appeared on the president's reality show "Celebrity Apprentice", Rivera is good friends with Trump but doesn't always support his policies.

Rivera's criticism of Trump's policy comes amid growing outrage from members of both political parties over children being detained and separated from their parents when crossing the southern border illegally. Rivera is the latest of several notable Republicans to urge Trump to bring an end to this policy.

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SEE ALSO: Rachel Maddow breaks down in tears on air while reading about babies detained at US border

DON'T MISS: Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski taunts commentator who mentioned a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome separated from her mother at the US-Mexico border

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