After a video surfaced that showed CNN anchor Chris Cuomo threatening a heckler over being called “Fredo,” President Donald Trump took a swipe at the journalist.
The president tweeted Tuesday morning that he thought “Chris was Fredo also.”
“The truth hurts,” he added. “Totally lost it! Low ratings @CNN”
About an hour and a half later he again criticized Cuomo, wondering if the news personality would be “given a Red Flag for his recent rant? Filthy Language and a total loss of control,” he tweeted, adding that he didn’t think Cuomo should be “allowed to have any weapon.”
Cuomo has tweeted several times in the past week about pushing for increased gun safety laws, while noting he’s a gun owner.
“You can’t own a machine gun,” he wrote Thursday, part of a series of tweets responding to those who argued against gun restrictions in the aftermath of mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas. “There is no question people have a right to own weapons. And there is not question that that right is subject to regulation.”
Cuomo added: “You will never get rid of all guns. Period. This has to be about doing a better job of controlling who gets them.”
Meanwhile Fox News host Sean Hannity, whose show airs at the same time as Cuomo’s, backed the media personality.
“I say good for @ChrisCuomo,” Hannity tweeted. “He’s out with his 9 year old daughter, and his wife, and this guy is being a jackass in front of his family. (In my honest opinion) Chris Cuomo has zero to apologize for. He deserves the apology.”
The “Cuomo Prime Time” host, 49, was captured during a heated exchange with an unidentified man who called him “Fredo,” which Cuomo called a racist slur toward Italians, comparing it to the N-word.
“Punk (expletive) from the right call me ‘Fredo.’ My name is Chris Cuomo. I’m an anchor on CNN,” the television host said during the NSFW video that was shared on Twitter.
In the video, Cuomo explained that the “disparaging” term is from the 1972 film “The Godfather,” referring to Fredo Corleone, who Cuomo said is “a weak brother.”
As the conversation escalated, Cuomo added: “I’ll (expletive) ruin your (expletive). I’ll (expletive) throw you down these stairs like a (expletive) punk … you’re gonna call me Fredo, take a (expletive) swing?”
Discussion on social media has since turned into debates and jokes over whether or not the term should be considered a slur.
Trump’s 2020 Director of Communications Tim Murtaugh criticized CNN for calling the term “an ‘ethnic slur’ when ‘Fredo’ is a common term even used on Cuomo’s own show without pause,” referring to a January clip of commentator Ana Navarro using the word on Cuomo’s show.
“Calling an Italian man Fredo perpetuates cruel, unfair stereotypes, and if you ever do it my cousins and I will show up to your house in track suits and smash your car windows,” joked reporter CJ Ciaramella.
“The nonsense about #Cuomo and #Fredo shouldn’t obscure the fact that #Trump is dismantling all that – ironically – made America great, polarizing the country to a disastrous degree, and decaying civility and democracy,” tweeted columnist Michael Coren. “People fiddle while the US burns.”
Contributing: Cydney Henderson
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