Speaking Monday to reporters at the United Nations, President Donald Trump praised his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, for defending him on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time last week when asked about former vice president Joe Biden’s Ukraine scandal.
A transcript is as follows:
JOURNALIST: Mr. President, are you happy with the way that Rudy Giuliani has been handling the Ukraine situation?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think he was excellent. I watched a video the other night, I haven’t watched that show [CNN’s ‘Chris Cuomo Tonight’] in a long time. I don’t watch CNN because it’s fake news, but I watched Rudy take apart Fredo [host Chris Cuomo]. Fredo’s performance was incompetent. Rudy took him apart.
The press doesn’t give him credit because they take little tiny snippets wherever Rudy was a little bit — if he mispronounces a word they’ll show that, they won’t show the whole [clip]. Rudy Giuliani took Fredo to the cleaners. The first time I’ve watched CNN in a long time. I hate to watch it because it’s so fake. Okay?
The nickname “Fredo” is a reference to a videotaped freakout in which Cuomo threatened a man with physical violence for referring to him as “Fredo” — a term he has claimed was an anti-Italian slur.
“Punk-ass bitches from the right call me ‘Fredo.’ My name is Chris Cuomo. I’m an anchor on CNN,” the host is seen saying in the video shared to a YouTube channel with the title “That’s the Point with Brandon” in August.
The New York Post’s Page Six reported that while CNN’s management was eager to stand behind Cuomo, some in the newsroom were left red-faced by the Cuomo Prime Time host for his flying off the handle.
“Insiders say that — while CNN brass stood by Chris Cuomo after he was caught on camera threatening a man who called him ‘Fredo’ — the newsroom rank and file was “embarrassed by the blowup,” the newspaper reported.
Days after the incident went viral, Cuomo conceded he let the man he berated get the best of him. Cuomo wrote:
Appreciate all the support but – 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.
The nickname “Fredo” was popularized by Breitbart News editor-at-large John Nolte and frequently used by radio host legend Rush Limbaugh.