Chris Cuomo’s meltdown that hit the internet on Monday, Aug. 12, garnered plenty of attention, with President Donald Trump not missing out on the action.
When CNN host of “Cuomo Prime Time” flew into a rage in a confrontation with a man at a bar on Shelter Island, New York, who had referred to Cuomo as “Fredo,” the altercation was caught on video, and it quickly went viral after it was posted on the YouTube channel “That’s The Point with Brandon.”
The man in the video told Cuomo, “I thought that was who you were,” and the CNN host was none too gracious in his reply, his speech loaded with expletives as he shaped up to the man, ready for a fight. Chris Cuomo is the younger brother of Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“I thought Chris was Fredo also. The truth hurts,” Trump tweeted. “Totally lost it! Low ratings @CNN.”
WARNING: THIS VIDEO CONTAINS EXPLICIT LANGUAGE
“No, punk-[expletive] [expletive] from the right call me ‘Fredo.’ My name is Chris Cuomo. I’m an anchor on CNN,” Cuomo responded. “‘Fredo’ was from ‘The Godfather.’ He was a weak brother and they use that as an Italian—are any of you Italian?… It’s an [expletive] insult to your people. It’s an insult to your [expletive] people. It’s like the N-word for us. Is that a cool [expletive] thing?”
The man was becoming moved at Cuomo’s outburst, and spoke with sarcasm, “You’re a much more reasonable guy in person than you seem to be on television,” Cuomo reacted, “If you want to play, we’ll [expletive] play.”
“If you’ve got something to say about what I do on television, then say it, but you don’t have to call me a [expletive] insult,” Cuomo continued. “Hey man, listen, I don’t want any problems,” the man told Cuomo. “Well, you’re gonna have a big [expletive] problem,” Cuomo shouted.
In a statement to Fox News, CNN said it fully supported its primetime anchor. “Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup. We completely support him,” a CNN representative told Fox News.
Sean Hannity from Fox News defended Cuomo,“I say good for @ChrisCuomo,” Hannity wrote. “He’s out with his 9-year-old daughter, and his wife, and this guy is being an [expletive] in front of his family.”
The president tweeted;
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
Donald Trump Jr. weighed in on the discussion, as many times he and his brother had been referred to as “Fredo” as the president’s sons and had to take it on the chin. “Hey @ChrisCuomo, take it from me, “Fredo” isn’t the N-word for Italians, it just means you’re the dumb brother,” he wrote.
On Tuesday morning Cuomo tweeted, “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.”
— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) August 13, 2019
It has surfaced that in January 2010, Cuomo was interviewed by Curtis Sliwa on his AM 970 radio show, and he was asked whether his brother Andrew might seek Democratic nomination for governor. Sliwa said, according to the New York Post, he dubbed the Cuomo family “la Cuomo Nostra.”
“There is a group of people—politicos—who always hint they might run, but not necessarily plunge all the way, and they are members of la Cuomo.”
“Who am I, then, Fredo?” was Cuomo’s response.
“Yes, exactly,” Sliwa said. “So you better be careful that your brother Andrew doesn’t kiss you on both cheeks and then all of a sudden they take you out on the middle of the lake and where’s Chris?”
“He kisses me plenty because he’s a great big brother,” Cuomo said.
Perhaps Cuomo needs to lighten up a bit, as the “Fredo” reference is likely to stick to him for a while.