Trump jabs at CNN's Cuomo over viral 'Fredo' video

President TrumpDonald John TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated MORE on Tuesday mocked CNN anchor Chris CuomoChristopher (Chris) Charles CuomoTrump complains of Republicans defending CNN's Cuomo over 'Fredo' video: 'We never learn!' Trump campaign starts selling 'Fredo Unhinged' T-shirt after viral Cuomo video Chris Cuomo: 'I should be better than the guys baiting me' MORE after a viral video first shared by right-wing accounts showed the prime-time host getting into a heated exchange with an unidentified man who repeatedly called him "Fredo."

In a pair of tweets, Trump called Cuomo "nuts" and questioned whether the anchor would qualify for the "red flag" law that he and some Republicans have backed in the wake of recent mass shootings to keep weapons away from dangerous individuals.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.

"I thought Chris was Fredo also," Trump tweeted. "The truth hurts. Totally lost it! Low ratings @CNN" 

"Would Chris Cuomo be given a Red Flag for his recent rant?" Trump added in a tweet roughly 90 minutes later. "Filthy language and a total loss of control. He shouldn’t be allowed to have any weapon. He’s nuts!"

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."

The man involved in the confrontation tells the anchor that he's a "much more reasonable guy in person than you seem to be on television."

"If you want to play then we’ll f---ing play," Cuomo responds. "If you’ve got something to say about what I do on television then say it."

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."

A CNN spokesperson said the network stands by Cuomo, saying the anchor "was defending himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup.”

Some Trump aides took issue with Cuomo's characterization that "Fredo" was comparable to the N-word. 

"The N word is a dehumanizing word used against blacks who endured years of oppression," Katrina Pierson, a Trump campaign aide, said on Twitter. "Fredo is a term from The Godfather, referring to the dumb brother. Equivocating the two is pure racism."

Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpDick Cheney to attend fundraiser supporting Trump reelection: report House chairman warns foreign governments to 'cease and desist' spending money at Trump properties Chris Cuomo: 'I should be better than the guys baiting me' MORE, the president's oldest son, tweeted that "'Fredo' isn’t the N word for Italians, it just means you’re the dumb brother."

"Speaking of dumb brothers.... cc: @EricTrump," CNN spokesman Matt Dornic shot back.

Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityMaher stands by recession remarks: 'Very worth' getting rid of Trump Trump retweets baby elephant video Trump complains of Republicans defending CNN's Cuomo over 'Fredo' video: 'We never learn!' MORE, a Fox News personality and one of Trump's favorite television hosts, came to Cuomo's defense after the video of the incident went viral.

"I say good for @ChrisCuomo,” Hannity tweeted. “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."

Trump often derides CNN and some of its employees as "fake news" over coverage he dislikes and mocks the network for its ratings. He has in the past jabbed at Cuomo after the anchor and brother of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) got his own prime-time hour. 

Updated at 10:10 a.m.