CNN Spokesman: Eric Trump Is the 'Dumb Brother'

Network condemned calling Chris Cuomo 'Fredo'

Chris Cuomo
Getty Images
August 13, 2019

CNN spokesman Matt Dornic called Eric Trump the "dumb brother" of the Trump family a day after CNN condemned a man calling anchor Chris Cuomo "Fredo," a reference to the weak and foolish brother in the Godfather films.

Dornic's comment came as a response to Donald Trump Jr. after the president's son tweeted a correction of Cuomo's accusation that "Fredo" is the equivalent of calling an Italian person the "n-word."

"Take it from me, 'Fredo' isn't the N word for Italians, it just means you're the dumb brother,"  Trump Jr. wrote.

"Speaking of dumb brothers ... cc: @EricTrump," Donric responded.

The original controversy arose on Monday night when a man approached Cuomo at a restaurant and asked if the CNN anchor's name was Fredo. Cuomo responded angrily as the man insisted he thought Cuomo's name was Fredo.

"My name is Chris Cuomo. I'm an anchor on CNN. Fredo is from The Godfather. He was a weak brother. And they're using it as an Italian aspersion," Cuomo told the man.

"It's like the n-word for us," Cuomo added, before telling the man that he would "throw you down these stairs" if he kept calling him Fredo.

CNN supported Cuomo's response, including that Fredo is a racially derogatory term.

"Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur," the network said in a statement. "We completely support him."

President Donald Trump also weighed in, stating that he believes Cuomo bears resemblance to the Godfather character.

Cuomo is the younger brother of New York governor Andrew Cuomo and the son of former governor of New York Mario Cuomo. In the Godfather films, Fredo is the older brother of Michael Corleone, head of the Corleone crime family and the son of Vito Corleone, the founder of the crime family.

Throughout the Godfather films, various members of the Corleone family revile Fredo for his weakness and stupidity in business and political dealings. In the second film, he betrays the family and is murdered.