Continuing his obsession over CNN anchor Chris Cuomo’s filmed meltdown at a heckler who called the TV personality “Fredo,” President Donald Trump appeared to take a public swipe at one of his most loyal media sycophants on Tuesday for publicly defending Cuomo’s actions.
“It always happens!” Trump wrote. “When a Conservative does even a fraction of what Chris Cuomo did with his lunatic ranting, raving, & cursing, they get destroyed by the Fake News. But when a Liberal Democrat like Chris Cuomo does it, Republicans immediately come to his defense. We never learn!”
While there were a handful of right-wing pundits and notable Republicans who supported Cuomo and said he’d been baited by the heckler, the most prominent and Trump-centric defender was Fox News star Sean Hannity.
Shortly after the video of Cuomo’s altercation went viral on Monday evening, Hannity sided with his 9 p.m. cable-news rival, emphasizing that the CNN host had been confronted while out with his family.
“I say good for @ChrisCuomo,” the pro-Trump host tweeted Monday night. “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.”
And during his radio show on Tuesday afternoon, prior to Trump’s tweet, Hannity doubled down on his defense of Cuomo. After claiming that he’s taking some heat from fellow conservatives for backing the CNN anchor, Hannity told his listeners: “Maybe I’m a little sensitive to it because I’ve lived this life. I’ve said this many times before, but I don’t think fame is a healthy thing.”
Hannity brushed off complaints about Cuomo’s profane language as fake outrage. “We’ve all heard these words,” the primetime star said. “The feigning of outrage is an industry now.”
For his part, Cuomo has said of the incident that he “should be better than the guys baiting” him, adding that there was “no need to add to the ugliness.”