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Never missing an opportunity to taunt a CNN employee, President Donald Trump joined his son Donald Trump Jr. in mocking anchor Chris Cuomo after a video of Cuomo arguing with an unidentified man was posted by a conservative media personality.
In the video, Cuomo explodes after the man accosts him and calls him “Fredo,” which the Italian American anchor suggests is an vicious slur.
“I thought Chris was Fredo also,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday morning. “The truth hurts. Totally lost it! Low ratings @CNN.”
After sending a more presidential tweet about Chinese currency devaluation, the media-critic-in-chief decided to double down on the story, suggesting that Cuomo’s behavior could trigger concerns about gun violence.
“Would Chris Cuomo be given a Red Flag for his recent rant? Filthy language and a total loss of control,” Trump wrote. “He shouldn’t be allowed to have any weapon. He’s nuts!”
The anchor, who is still on vacation, spoke out about the incident on Tuesday. “Appreciate all the support but – truth is I should be better than the guys baiting me,” Cuomo wrote on Twitter. “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.”
The president has insulted Cuomo several times this year on Twitter, generally poking fun at his ratings, which trail those of competitors Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity.
“CNN has been a proven and long term ratings and beyond disaster,” Trump wrote April 23. “In fact, it rewarded Chris Cuomo with a now unsuccessful prime time slot, despite his massive failure in the morning.”
In another anti-CNN tweet, May 23, he wrote: “Chris Cuomo was rewarded for lowest morning ratings with a prime time spot – which is failing badly and not helping the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon!”
Cuomo told The Hollywood Reporter in April that Trump’s attacks on the media have put journalists in danger. “The president has created that dynamic, and he knows he has,” he said.
But, he’s previously expressed interest in interviewing the president. “I am constantly offering invitations for him to come on and make the case that I have just made to you,” he said in January 2018. “If the president wants to defend himself, his administration, his agenda, against anything, he is best served doing it himself…. You have to give some respect and credibility to the idea that he knows how to make a case to people because he’s now president of the United States.”
CNN defended Cuomo’s behavior in the taped video in a statement Monday night but has not yet responded to the president’s Tuesday morning attacks.
“Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup,” a spokesperson said. “We completely support him.”
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