‘The truth hurts’: Trump pokes fun at CNN anchor Chris Cuomo being insulted as ‘Fredo’ by a heckler

Chris Cuomo.

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Chris Cuomo.
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Ben Gabbe/Getty

  • President Donald Trump piled onto the mockery of CNN anchor Chris Cuomo being insulted as “Fredo,” tweeting on Tuesday, “I thought Chris was Fredo also. The truth hurts. Totally lost it! Low ratings CNN.”
  • On Monday evening, a video posted to social media showed a man coming up to Cuomo and his daughter in New York City and insulting him, including calling him “a Fredo.”
  • In response, Cuomo argued that “Fredo” is the equivalent to a racial slur comparable to the n-word for Italian-Americans and threatened the heckler that he would “ruin his s—” and “f—– throw you down these stairs.”
  • But Cuomo was widely mocked by Internet users pointing out that the term “Fredo” is not an ethnic slur, but a reference to the character Fredo Corleone in the famous mafia movie and novel, “The Godfather.”
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President Donald Trump piled on to the aftermath of a viral video showing CNN anchor Chris Cuomo being insulted as “Fredo,” tweeting on Tuesday, “I thought Chris was Fredo also. The truth hurts. Totally lost it! Low ratings CNN.”

On Monday evening, a video posted to social media by user That’s The Point with Brandon and re-posted by Daily Wire staffer Ryan Saavedra showed a man coming up to Cuomo and his daughter in New York City and insulting him, including calling him “a Fredo.”

In response, Cuomo argued that “Fredo” is the equivalent to a racial slur comparable to the n-word for Italian-Americans and threatened the heckler that he would “ruin his s—” and “f—– throw you down these stairs.”

In a subsequent tweet, Trump also suggested that Cuomo’s response proved he shouldn’t be able to own a gun, writing, “Filthy language and a total loss of control. He shouldn’t be allowed to have any weapon. He’s nuts!”

CNN stood by Cuomo’s response to the heckler, with spokesman Matt Dornic tweeting, “Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup. We completely support him.”

But Cuomo and Dornic were widely mocked by Internet users pointing out that the term “Fredo” is not in fact an ethnic slur, but a reference to the character Fredo Corleone in the famous mafia movie “The Godfather.”

Insulting someone as a “Fredo” is meant to insinuate that someone isn’t as smart or capable as members of the rest of their family.

Read more: CNN’s Chris Cuomo gets into a shouting match with a man who called him ‘Fredo’

In the movie, aging mafia don Vito Corleone initially chose his eldest son, Sonny, to inherit his organized crime operation. But after Sonny was killed, he turned to his third son, Michael Corleone and not his other remaining son Fredo – who despite being older than Michael was perceived as the less intelligent brother who frequently undermined the family’s own work.

In Cuomo’s case, his father Mario Cuomo was a former New York governor and power broker, and his older brother Andrew Cuomo is the current governor of New York.

In a Tuesday tweet, Cuomo expressed regret over the way he handled the confrontation, writing, “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.”

Mario Cuomo sought to distance himself from Italian-American organized crime during his entire political career and had a well-documented and decades-long dislike of “The Godfather”, which he boycotted and argued perpetuated negative stereotypes about Italian-Americans.

But in 2013 at the age of 81, the eldest Cuomo finally agreed to see the movie and acknowledged that “maybe this thing was a masterpiece,” as The New York Times reported at the time.

Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., also joined in the chorus of voices mocking Cuomo, writing, “Hey [Chris Cuomo] take it from me, ‘Fredo’ isn’t the N-word for Italians, it just means you’re the dumb brother.”

As Vox reported in 2017, the Internet similarly mocked Donald Trump Jr. as comparable to a Fredo Corleone after news broke that he set up and attended a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian operative and lawyer offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.