Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani says he has been receiving death threats in the aftermath of his controversial declaration that President Barack Obama doesn’t love America.
The Republican told CNN’s Jim Acosta on Saturday that his office and his secretary have received threatening calls but did not indicate one way or another if he had alerted authorities. “Giuliani did go on to say during their conversation that the majority of phone calls that he has received at his office were supportive” and that he did not regret his remarks, recalled Acosta.
Giuliani, a failed presidential candidate, continued on Sunday to endure the fallout of his comments, which were made during a private dinner in Manhattan with several prominent GOP fundraisers. “I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” he said.
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Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who was once hired by Giuliani as a federal prosecutor, said on CBS’ “Face The Nation” that Giuliani’s comments were “unfortunate” and “not helpful.” Republican Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana on “Fox News Sunday” said that “I don’t think it’s helpful in the public debate to question motives or to question patriotism.”
Rep. Darrell Issa of California, meanwhile, said that while Giuliani shouldn’t have said Obama doesn’t love his country, the real attention should be turned to what caused the ex-mayor to say the quip. He compared Giuliani’s recent remarks to Obama, as a presidential candidate, who once called then-president George W. Bush “unpatriotic” for adding $4 trillion to the national debt. “There’s plenty of that kind of behavior that goes on,” said Issa on CNN.
Giuliani has since double-downed on his comments, insisting they weren’t racist because the commander-in-chief was “brought up by a white mother.” On Sunday, Giuliani told John Catsimatidis on 970 AM in New York that he’s made similar remarks before “but somehow this time it hit a nerve.”