Donald Trump still has a friend in Rudy Giuliani.
The former New York City mayor came to the Republican presidential candidate and billionaire real estate mogul’s defense on Monday, even as Trump continues to catch major heat for saying immigrants migrating over the country’s southern border are “rapists” and “killers.”
Giuliani called Trump a “good friend of mine” at the Hank’s Yanks Golf Classic at Trump Golf Links in the Bronx. The ex-mayor argued that while Trump could have phrased his thoughts better, he’s still tackling the important issue of border security.
“We’ve failed at it for quite some time and we need to have a plan so that we can stop people from coming into this country without identifying themselves. Even if most of them are good people, if a few of them can set off bombs, if a few of them can kill people like one did over the weekend, if a few of them can rape people then what are we doing?” He later added, “So think [Trump] hit on the right point. I would have said it differently. And I certainly think that it doesn’t reflect on Donald Trump as a man who is a very charitable and a good man. I’m sure if he really had a chance to say it he’d reverse it.”
Trump, however, has since double-downed on his remarks after saying during his presidential launch that rapists, killers and other criminals are among the drove of illegal immigrants coming into the U.S. each year. A slew of companies, including Macy’s, Serta, Univision, and msnbc’s parent company NBCUniversal, have consequently severed ties the Republican.
While several GOP presidential candidates, including former Govs. Jeb Bush of Florida, George Pataki of New York and Rick Perry of Texas have distanced themselves from Trump’s comments, others—including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas have defended him. Cruz said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, “I salute Donald Trump for focusing on the need to address illegal immigration,” adding “I’m not going to engage in the media’s game of throwing rocks and attacking other Republicans.”
Giuliani on Monday added, “Everybody has a right to their opinion—that’s what a primary is about. Donald has a right to his opinion.” The former mayor, of course, is no stranger to controversy. In recent months, he has made a series of eyebrow-raising remarks, including a declaration that President Obama doesn’t love his country.