Geraldo Rivera on Donald Trump’s Rise, El Chapo’s Fall

By Mark Joyella 

Fox News senior correspondent Geraldo Rivera considers Donald Trump a friend, and predicted months ago Trump would prevail over his Republican primary opponents–but Trump’s not getting his vote.

“He is definitely my friend. I was with him as recently as Sunday morning,” Rivera told TVNewser in an interview Wednesday. “He is a person for whom I have tremendous regard. But he is also a person for whom I could never vote, unless and until he changes his draconian policies vis-a-vis undocumented immigrants.”

Rivera believes Trump, with the Republican nomination “locked up,” will now moderate his views, perhaps going to California and unveiling a softer stand on deportations. “This is his chance… to show compassion, to show understanding,” Rivera said. “To say that he is not going to be deporting long-existing undocumented immigrant families that have citizen children, that he’ll use the limited resources of the federal government to go after the criminals.”

This weekend, Rivera debuts a Fox News Channel special on one of the world’s most notorious criminals, the Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Fox News Reporting: Beauty & the Beast–When Kate met Chapo features Rivera’s interview with Kate del Castillo, the Mexican actress for whom El Chapo developed an obsession. “This is a very evil guy, who had this soft spot for this actress that portrayed a character that he related to in a very deep way,” Rivera said.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 1.23.10 PMRivera, who traced the drug lord’s escape route through a mile-long tunnel underneath a Mexican prison (left), believes El Chapo’s obsession led to his downfall. He agreed to meet with Castillo and the actor Sean Penn in the jungle despite being one of the world’s most wanted criminals. “He was desperate to meet Kate,” Rivera said. “He threw caution to the wind. When he’s on the lam and the whole world is looking for him… the beast needs to see beauty.”

The meeting ultimately led investigators to El Chapo’s location, which was raided shortly after the Sean Penn interview. “It is, I believe, the central truth of the King-Chapo relationship… was beauty killed the beast.”

Rivera says he is very proud of the special, which airs Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET and again Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET. But he’s far less proud of his performance on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. “I was relatively humiliated,” Rivera said of his dancing, which led him to be the first celebrity voted off the show‘s current season.

“I have to go back for the finale. I dread it,” Rivera said. “I’d rather go back to the tunnel of El Chapo in Mexico.