Trump Jr. to CNN’s Cuomo: Fredo Isn’t an Ethnic Slur, ‘It Just Means You’re the Dumb Brother’

August 13, 2019 Updated: August 13, 2019

Donald Trump Jr.. disputed the characterization of “Fredo” as an ethnic slur after CNN’s Chris Cuomo got upset when a man called him the word.

The man claimed he thought Cuomo was someone named “Fredo,” upsetting Cuomo so much that the anchor threatened to “throw you down these stairs like a [expletive] punk.”

Cuomo also claimed that “Fredo” was a slur equivalent to the N-word for black people.

Trump Jr., President Donald Trump’s eldest son, disputed that characterization, writing on Twitter, “Hey @ChrisCuomo, take it from me, ‘Fredo’ isn’t the N word for Italians, it just means you’re the dumb brother.”

Cuomo, 49, is the younger brother of Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Both are sons of longtime New York politician Mario Cuomo, who died in 2015.

“Fredo” refers to the nickname for Fredo Corleone, the second son of the mafia family in the “Godfather” movie. The nickname has been used by a number of commentators to refer to Cuomo, including Rush Limbaugh.

Trump Jr. was reacting to a post from Katrina Pierson, a senior adviser to Trump’s 2020 campaign, who wrote: “Did @ChrisCuomo just say that “Fredo” is to Italians what the N word is to black people? The N word is a dehumanizing word used against blacks who endured years of oppression. Fredo is a term from The Godfather, referring to the dumb brother. Equivocating the two is pure racism.”

A number of people took issue with Cuomo’s claim.

“Just so we’re clear, no, calling someone ‘Fredo,’ is not remotely in the same universe as the N Word. You know how you can tell? Ppl say ‘Fredo’ but still won’t say the actual N Word. Also stop harassing public figures in public while living their private lives,” wrote Bishop Garrison, director of Vets 4 American Ideals and Human Rights First.

Other users noted that Cuomo previously compared “fake news” to the N-word.

A CNN spokesperson defended Cuomo, writing in a statement: “Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup. We completely support him.”

Trump Jr. weighed in, noting that a CNN analyst had called him “Fredo” while appearing on Cuomo’s show.

“Does CNN’s head of PR still think ‘Fredo’ is an ethnic slur after watching this?” he wrote. “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.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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