President Donald Trump defended his Twitter posts about CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, who had exploded at a man because he apparently called Cuomo “Fredo.” A video of the incident started circulating on social media after it was initially posted to YouTube.
“I think that what Chris Cuomo did was horrible. His language was horrible. He looked like a total, out-of-control animal. He lost it,” Trump said on Aug. 13 while responding to a question about whether he thought his Twitter posts were appropriate.
“And, frankly, I don’t think anybody should defend him because he spews lies every night. So I don’t know why anybody would defend him. But Chris Cuomo was out of control. I watched it. I thought it was terrible,” he added.
The video shows Cuomo, 49, the host of “Cuomo Prime Time,” becoming visibly upset after a man called him by the nickname for Fredo Corleone, the second son of the mafia family in the “Godfather” movie.
The man claimed he thought Cuomo was someone named “Fredo,” offending Cuomo so much that the anchor threatened to “throw you down these stairs like a [expletive] punk.” The anchor also claimed that “Fredo” was a slur equivalent to the N-word for African Americans.
After the video was circulated, many people came to Cuomo’s defense saying that the anchor should not have been subjected to such conduct in front of his family. Meanwhile, others were more critical of Cuomo for threatening the man, including Trump.
“Well, I think Chris Cuomo was so out of control that I would not have wanted to see a weapon in his hand,” Trump told reporters. “I guess his fist is not a weapon or he would have done something. You know, he talked about it but he didn’t do anything.”
“But I think Chris Cuomo was very much out of control, actually,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Trump had written several posts on Twitter reacting to the video. In one of the posts, the president questioned whether Cuomo should be given a “red flag” for his rant while indirectly referring to the gun violence prevention laws.
Would Chris Cuomo be given a Red Flag for his recent rant? Filthy language and a total loss of control. He shouldn’t be allowed to have any weapon. He’s nuts!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2019
“Would Chris Cuomo be given a Red Flag for his recent rant?” Trump wrote about Cuomo, who recently held a town hall on firearms “Filthy language and a total loss of control. He shouldn’t be allowed to have any weapon. He’s nuts!”
Cuomo responded to the video, writing in a post on Aug. 13: “Appreciate all the support but—truth is I should be better than the guys baiting me. This happens all the time these days. Often in front of my family. But there is a lesson: no need to add to the ugliness; I should be better than what I oppose.”
Appreciate all the support but – truth is I should be better than the guys baiting me. This happens all the time these days. Often in front of my family. But there is a lesson: no need to add to the ugliness; I should be better than what I oppose.
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) August 13, 2019
Among those who defended Cuomo includes Fox’s Sean Hannity, who wrote: “I say good for @ChrisCuomo He’s out with his 9 year old daughter, and his wife, and this guy is being a jackass in front of his family. Imho Chris Cuomo has zero to apologize for. He deserves the apology.”
Cuomo’s network CNN also came out with a statement, saying the anchor was being attacked in an “orchestrated setup.”
“Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup. We completely support him,” Matt Dornic, vice president of communication for the network, said.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr. pointed out that Cuomo did not take issue with the word “Fredo” being used by a commentator in the past.
Does CNN’s head of PR still think “Fredo” is an ethnic slur after watching this? Because if it’s the N word for Italians like @ChrisCuomo says, I don’t understand why Chris seems so at ease with someone saying it here. An excuse just as fake as his news. #FredoCuomo https://t.co/8G8yuY80CK pic.twitter.com/1gwVyDVCob
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) August 13, 2019
“Does CNN’s head of PR still think ‘Fredo’ is an ethnic slur after watching this? Because if it’s the N word for Italians like @ChrisCuomo says, I don’t understand why Chris seems so at ease with someone saying it here. An excuse just as fake as his news,” Trump Jr. wrote.
Epoch Times reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.