“Appreciate all the support but – truth is I should be better than the guys baiting me,” Cuomo tweeted today. “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.”
Cuomo’s response comes just a few hours after President Donald Trump inserted himself into the barroom verbal brawl between the CNN anchor and the stranger. In a video that went viral, Cuomo shouts at the man who called him “Fredo” — and Trump today, unlike his Fox News’ pal Sean Hannity, sided with the harassing stranger.
“I thought Chris was Fredo also,” Trump tweeted today, repeating what Cuomo has said was an epithet for Italian people. “The truth hurts. Totally lost it! Low ratings.”
See all the tweets below.
Later today, Trump, addressing a gaggle of reporters, was asked whether it was “appropriate” to tweet about the incident, a reporter noting that “even Sean Hannity defended him.”
Trump, in a transcript sent out by the White House Press Office, responded, “I think that what Chris Cuomo did was horrible. His language was horrible. He looked like a total, out-of-control animal. He lost it. And, frankly, I don’t think anybody should defend him because he spews lies every night. So I don’t know why anybody would defend him. But Chris Cuomo was out of control. I watched it. I thought it was terrible. So I don’t know who’s defending him. Maybe they didn’t see it. 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. You’ve never seen me do that.”
When asked about his tweet about red flagging Cuomo, the president said, “Well, I think Chris Cuomo was so out of control that I would not have wanted to see a weapon in his hand. I guess his fist is not a weapon or he would have done something. You know, he talked about it but he didn’t do anything. But I think Chris Cuomo was very much out of control, actually.”
The video of Cuomo in argument at a New York bar went viral yesterday after a right-wing YouTube channel host posted the cellphone footage of an angry Cuomo arguing with the stranger who approached him and called him the name of the Godfather character. The man then claimed during the heated exchange that he thought “Fredo” was Cuomo’s name, though he also conceded that he recognized the newsman from TV.
Trump’s tweet today puts him on the rare opposite side of his biggest Fox News supporter, Hannity, who tweeted Monday, “I say good for @ChrisCuomo. 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 was first posted by Brandon Straka on his YouTube channel “That’s The Point with Brandon.” In the clip, you can see and hear a provoked Cuomo angrily tell the stranger that “Fredo” is like “the N-word for Italians.” Cuomo also says: “I’ll f*cking ruin your shit. I’ll f*cking throw you down these stairs like a f*cking punk.”
CNN later released a statement supporting its star 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.”
Trump’s tweet today also included a retweet of the viral video.
Actress Mia Farrow was among those responding to Trump’s joining the Internet barroom fray. “Another racist insult,” she tweeted to Trump. “For that i bet Frank Sinatra wd have punched your false teeth out.”