Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was called "mad" and "unhinged" during an explosive interview on British television Thursday, as he defended the US President's handling of the George Floyd protests.
The former New York mayor clashed with presenter Piers Morgan, who once hosted a chatshow on CNN, calling him a "failed journalist", as they traded insults in a live broadcast.
The pair argued specifically over Trump's May 29 tweet, later flagged by Twitter for glorifying violence, that "when the looting starts, the shooting starts", following early protests over Floyd's death in police custody.
Floyd, an unarmed African American, died on May 25 after white Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
The incident sparked outrage, and widespread protests across the United States and beyond, exposing once again the deep faultlines of race and inequality.
Morgan, a former tabloid newspaper editor, said the president should never have tweeted the remark, originally heard during the racially charged 1960s civil rights era in the US.
Giuliani defended the president, saying: "You misinterpreted him. You're misinterpreting him on purpose.
"The question is, did he know that came from some racist 30 years ago? Well, he didn't know that."
Morgan called Giuliani a "liar" and added: "When I used to interview you, you were an intelligent, reasonable man and you've gone completely mad and you sound abusive."
Giuliani countered by claiming that "everyone in America knows you're a failed journalist, so stop trying to recreate your career".
Between 2011 and 2014, Morgan hosted a CNN chatshow in the United States, replacing veteran Larry King, but the programme was subsequently axed.
Thursday's clash occurred on breakfast television show "Good Morning Britain", which Morgan has co-hosted since 2015.
Chauvin has been charged with second degree murder and three police colleagues, also present at the scene, have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.