Never let a critic's "unhinged" rant go to waste.
Without missing a beat, the Trump campaign is already capitalizing on the viral Chris Cuomo "Fredo" video that has forced one of Trump's favorite targets, CNN, to retroactively declare the name of a fictional character an "ethnic slur" — despite having allowed it to be uttered repeatedly on air without rebuke — and has earned its oft-mocked host condemnation from both the Right and the Left for, yet again, claiming the "N-word" status for a term.
In the video, after a man refers to him as "Fredo" — a reference to the "weak" middle brother of the Corleone sons in "The Godfather" — Cuomo, unaware at first that he's on camera, threatens to "f***in ruin your sh**" and "f***ing throw you down the stairs." The name, he claims, is an "an Italian aspersion," adding, "It's like the 'n-word' for us."
After both Donald Trump Jr. and his father weighed in on the Cuomo video, the Trump campaign unveiled its new "Fredo Unhinged Tee," available now for the low, low price of $34.00 (while supplies last).
"CNN's Chris Cuomo is Fredo!" the trolling description on the campaign's official site, DonaldTrump.com reads. "The truth hurts. He totally lost it. Help us annoy Chris Cuomo and buy your 'Fredo Unhinged Tee' now! Fine Jersey (100% Cotton) construction. Limited Edition. While supplies last. Proudly Made in USA."
And here's a close-up:
When the video of Cuomo's rant first started to blow up online, Donald Trump Jr. wondered aloud if CNN would offer any official comment, writing, "I assume @cnn not available for comment. Imagine their coverage of this if they were a real news organization?"
In response, CNN's top public relations official announced that the network "completely" supports Cuomo and agreed that "Fredo" is an "ethnic slur."
"Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup," wrote CNN's Matt Dornic. "We completely support him."
CNN legal analyst Elie Honig likewise tweeted out his official condemnation of "Fredo" as an "ethnic slur." "Somebody threw an ethnic slur at @ChrisCuomo," Honig wrote. "I defend every damn word he says here."
But, as documented by Twitchy, many folks online noticed that CNN has repeatedly allowed that "Italian aspersion" to be uttered on its network without any hint of rebuke. In fact, it's been leveled at Trump Jr. by CNN contributor Ana Navarro on Cuomo's own show.
"Devin Nunes was referred to as 'Fredo' on CNN in March. CNN's David Gregory compared @DonaldJTrumpJr to 'Fredo' in February. And in January, CNN's Ana Navarro referred to @DonaldJTrumpJr as 'Fredo'...to Cuomo on his own show," noted the Federalist's Sean Davis.
To make sure Dornic didn't miss it, Trump Jr. tweeted Navarro's dig at him on Cuomo's show.
"Does CNN’s head of PR still think 'Fredo' is an ethnic slur after watching this?" wrote Trump. "Because if it’s the N word for Italians like @ChrisCuomo says, I don’t understand why Chris seems so at ease with someone saying it here. An excuse just as fake as his news."
President Trump has since hit Cuomo over the video a few times, including working in a reference to "red flag" laws.
"I thought Chris was Fredo also. The truth hurts. Totally lost it! Low ratings CNN," Trump tweeted, adding later: "Would Chris Cuomo be given a Red Flag for his recent rant? Filthy language and a total loss of control. He shouldn't be allowed to have any weapon. He's nuts!"
The New York Post pointed out Tuesday that back in 2010, Cuomo actually referred to himself as Fredo in an interview back in 2010.