Geraldo Rivera Compares Donald Trump’s Presidential Run ‘Excitement’ to 9/11 (Video)

“There has not been this kind of excitement in the city since — in a very different way — 9/11,” Rivera tells TheWrap

Geraldo Rivera defended Donald Trump’s polarizing personality during an interview just one day after the real estate mogul announced his GOP presidential run.

The Fox News host described Trump’s bid for the White House as a big deal in New York. As big, even, as the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“He certainly made a big splash on New York radio. There has not been this kind of excitement in the city since, in a very different way, 9/11,” Rivera told TheWrap’s Mikey Glazer two weeks ago during the taping of an upcoming “Drinking With the Stars” episode. “There was never people so energized, negative or positive, about a man announcing a run for office.”

Rivera, who referred to Trump as a “hangout buddy,” said he was upset over the anti-Latino remarks in which Trump referred to undocumented Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and criminals.

“I am totally offended by the way he characterized Mexican immigrants during his announcement,” Rivera said. “But I hope that he will look at that and get to a more measured place, a more reasonable stance on immigration.”

When asked about Trump’s habit of exaggeration — such as rounding up the hundreds of people at his presidential announcement to somewhere in the thousands — Rivera vouched for his pal.

“His temper is both what is endearing about him and off-putting,” Rivera said.

Stay tuned this week for the full episode of TheWrap’s “Drinking With the Stars” featuring Rivera.

Watch the full video above.