Donald Trump Jr. is mocking CNN host Christopher Cuomo for claiming his nickname “Fredo” is an ethnic slur against Italians, telling the primetime anchor that the now-viral moniker “just means you’re the dumb brother.”
“Hey @ChrisCuomo, take it from me, ‘Fredo’ isn’t the N word for Italians, it just means you’re the dumb brother,” President Donald Trump’s eldest son tweeted to Cuomo on Monday evening.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) August 13, 2019
Trump was one of many voices pushing back against Cuomo, who is seen arguing in an explosive undercover video that the term “Fredo” is a racially charged term. Throughout the video released on YouTube Monday by an independent journalist with the title “That’s the Point with Brandon,” Cuomo threatens physical violence against a man after he calls him “Fredo” in public.
The nickname is a reference to the Godfather’s Fredo Corleone character, the inept second son of the Corleone mafia family. The nickname for Cuomo was popularized by Breitbart News editor-at-large John Nolte and frequently used by radio talkshow legend Rush Limbaugh to mock the CNN host, as well.
The backlash for Cuomo’s “n-word” comparison was fierce and bipartisan:
So @ChrisCuomo says calling him "Fredo" is like the "N-word for us"
Weird, I don't recall him having an issue with Ana Navarro calling @DonaldJTrumpJr "Fredo" ON HIS SHOW ON CNN.
I also don't recall CNN having an issue with Rick Wilson calling Rep. Nunez "Fredo" on CNN.
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) August 13, 2019
Did @ChrisCuomo just say that “Fredo” is to Italians what the N word is to black people? Th 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.
— Katrina Pierson (@KatrinaPierson) August 13, 2019
— 🇺🇸 Lynne Patton (@LynnePatton) August 13, 2019
N*GGER is a word rooted in white supremacy, the enslavement, lynching, murder, brutalization, & dehumanization of Blacks in America for the past 400 years.
FREDO was a character in ‘The Godfather,’ circa 1972. They called Blacks N*GGERS in the movie.
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) August 13, 2019
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 #ChrisCuomo
— Bishop Garrison (@BishopGarrison) August 13, 2019
Me when Chris Cuomo compared him being called Fredo to Black people being called the n word. pic.twitter.com/vi4G9euUT9
— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) August 13, 2019
I watched that clip of Chris Cuomo, while being a fredo definitely doesn't seem cool, it's nowhere near the n word. Like I said, the n word given antiblackness, is a stand alone. pic.twitter.com/VWEJGJg86y
— Shay Stewart Bouley (@blackgirlinmain) August 13, 2019
My take on the Fredo incident:
– Heckling & recording someone in public is wrong, I don't care who it is.
– Looks like both parties ended up getting carried away.
– Fredo is not like the N word.
– If the tables were turned, the right would be livid.
— Kimberly Ross (@SouthernKeeks) August 13, 2019
Today in problematic lines, this: "Being called 'Fredo' is the Italian-American equivalent of an African-American person being called the N -word." This is objectively untrue for several reasons. Stop these comparisons. Seriously. https://t.co/3onlhaYr1M
— Imaeyen Ibanga (@iiwrites) August 13, 2019
A partial transcript of Cuomo screaming at two unidentified men about being called “Fredo” is as follows:
INDIVIDUAL #1: I thought that’s who you were.
CHRIS CUOMO: No, punk ass bitches from the right call me Fredo. My name is Chris Cuomo, I’m an anchor on CNN. Fredo is from The Godfather. He was that weak brother. And they use it as an Italian aspersion. Any of you Italian?
INDIVIDUAL #1: I got a little bit Italian.
CUOMO: Are you Italian? It’s a fucking insult to your people.
INDIVIDUAL #2: I didn’t know that.
CUOMO: It’s an insult to your fucking people. It’s like the N-word for us. Is that a cool fucking thing?
Later in the clip, Cuomo suggests he’s prepared to fight with the man who called him the nickname.
INDIVIDUAL #1: I don’t have a problem with you man.
CUOMO: You’re going to have a fucking problem.
INDIVIDUAL #1: What? What are you going to do about it?
CUOMO: Take a swing. No, no. Come on boy. You want to call me shit, call me shit then. I’m right fucking here. I’ll fucking wreck your shit. I’ll fucking wreck your shit.
According to a count conducted by Newsbusters, Cuomo said “fuck” around 25 times. CNN spokesperson Matt Dornic defended Cuomo’s threats, 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.”
As the video of Cuomo went viral on social media, some began sharing prior CNN segments where the term “Fredo” was used — without objection from the Cuomo Prime Time host himself. Trump Jr. shared a snippet of Cuomo’s program which aired in January of network contributor Ana Navarro referring to the president’s eldest son as “Fredo.”
“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. tweeted.
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