But he also described Trump as “my friend” and claimed that the president was “better than that”:
Critics were quick to point out that Trump was not better than that, especially after he targeted progressive Democratic, telling them to “go back” to their own countries. He didn’t name names, but appeared to be referring to Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.
All are Americans, and all but one was born in the United States, but questioning the country of origin of his critics ― especially people of color ― has been a part of Trump’s playbook for years. He was, after all, a leader of the racist birther movement that questioned the birthplace of President Barack Obama.
Given that history, Rivera’s critics were quick to point out that Trump’s problem wasn’t just racist “language”: