President TrumpDonald John TrumpSecurity analyst calls Trump’s language on Hong Kong protests ‘inappropriate’ Americans’ opinions about China hit record low: survey Pentagon watchdog says it is officially reviewing billion ‘war cloud’ contract MORE on Tuesday expressed displeasure with Republicans coming to the defense of CNN anchor Chris CuomoChristopher (Chris) Charles CuomoChris Cuomo: ‘I should be better than the guys baiting me’ Trump jabs at CNN’s Cuomo over viral ‘Fredo’ video Hannity defends Cuomo over ‘Fredo’ crack MORE after a viral video in which the broadcaster shouted profanities at an unidentified man who repeatedly called him “Fredo.”
The president, who has throughout the day shared tweets and made comments alternatively blasting and mocking Cuomo for his actions, complained that the CNN host was benefitting from a double standard.
“It always happens! When a Conservative does even a fraction of what Chris Cuomo did with his lunatic ranting, raving, & cursing, they get destroyed by the Fake News,” Trump tweeted. “But when a Liberal Democrat like Chris Cuomo does it, Republicans immediately come to his defense. We never learn!”
It always happens! When a Conservative does even a fraction of what Chris Cuomo did with his lunatic ranting, raving, & cursing, they get destroyed by the Fake News. But when a Liberal Democrat like Chris Cuomo does it, Republicans immediately come to his defense. We never learn!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2019
The video, which began circulating Monday night, features Cuomo comparing the term “Fredo” to the “N-word.” The moniker references a character from the film “The Godfather” who betrays his family.
CNN has stood by its employee, and prominent conservatives like Fox News anchor Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityChris Cuomo: ‘I should be better than the guys baiting me’ Trump jabs at CNN’s Cuomo over viral ‘Fredo’ video Hannity defends Cuomo over ‘Fredo’ crack MORE and former Trump administration official Anthony ScaramucciAnthony ScaramucciThe specter of Steve Bannon may loom over 2020 Trump campaign Video shows Chris Cuomo in altercation after man calls him ‘Fredo’ Scaramucci breaks up with Trump in now-familiar pattern MORE are among those who have defended Cuomo amid broader backlash from the president and his supporters.
“I say good for @ChrisCuomo,” tweeted Hannity, a close ally of Trump’s. “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.”
The video shows Cuomo repeatedly cursing at a man who appeared to mock him by calling him “Fredo.” It is unclear when and where the exchange took place.
“Punk ass bitches from the right call me Fredo,” Cuomo says to a man standing beside him. “My name is Chris Cuomo. I’m an anchor on CNN. Fredo is from ‘The Godfather.’ He was a weak brother and they use it as an Italian aspersion.”
Cuomo, who is being held back by other people in the video, at one point threatens that he will “f—ing throw you down these stairs like a f—ing punk.”
The CNN anchor on Tuesday afternoon acknowledged the incident and said he “should be better than the guys baiting me.”
“This happens all the time these days. Often in front of my family,” he tweeted. “But there is a lesson: no need to add to the ugliness; I should be better than what I oppose.”
Trump has relentlessly attacked Cuomo over the video. He tweeted about the incident twice in the morning, including one suggesting the CNN anchor might trigger a “red flag” law he and some Republicans have pushed for in the wake of recent mass shootings.
The president also pushed out several retweets from his son and other conservatives making fun of the “Fredo” video.
And his campaign on Tuesday began selling t-shirts mocking the CNN host. The campaign shop’s website features a picture of the shirt, with the words “Fredo unhinged,” alongside an item description which reads, “CNN’s Chris Cuomo is Fredo!” above “The truth hurts. He totally lost it” and “Help us annoy Chris Cuomo and buy your ‘Fredo Unhinged Tee’ now!”
The president was asked about Hannity’s support for Cuomo during a gaggle with reporters on Tuesday afternoon. Trump responded by calling Cuomo an “out of control animal.”
“I don’t know who’s defending him. Maybe they didn’t see it,” Trump said. “Maybe they haven’t gotten a full picture. But I think anybody that would have seen Chris Cuomo would have said that was a disgrace.”
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