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2 Sep, 2020 19:28

‘Fredo must go!’ Trump demands CNN fire Cuomo over leaked sex harassment convo with former fixer Cohen

‘Fredo must go!’ Trump demands CNN fire Cuomo over leaked sex harassment convo with former fixer Cohen

US President Donald Trump has urged CNN to drop confrontational news host Chris Cuomo after a tape of Cuomo denying sexual harassment allegations in conversation with Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen was leaked.

Highlighting Cuomo’s poor ratings and “great disrespect” for women, the president called on CNN to fire the anchor in a tweet on Wednesday.

Trump also dragged the CNN host for speaking to “sleazebags” – i.e. Cohen, who turned state’s witness against Trump after he was caught up in the Trump-Russia collusion investigation and charged with tax evasion and bank fraud. He further stuck the knife in by referring to Cuomo by the hated nickname ‘Fredo’, a reference to the dim-witted Corleone brother in Mario Puzo's ‘The Godfather’. Cuomo’s older brother is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and their father was New York Governor Mario Cuomo.

Neither the network nor Cuomo have publicly responded to the leaked conversation between Cuomo and Cohen that Fox News host Tucker Carlson played on air Tuesday night, in which Cuomo claims unscrupulous reporters have tried to dig up dirt on sexual harassment accusations leveled against him while he worked at ABC.

In the conversation, Cuomo slams “lying” reporters saying they’d heard he was the “Charlie Rose of ABC” – a reference to the disgraced anchorman fired by CBS in 2017 after more than two dozen women accused him of sexual misconduct – and asking his former co-workers whether it was true he “used to invite women to the hotel and open his bathrobe.

Do I look like the kind of f***in’ guy who has to do that?” Cuomo indignantly asks Cohen, who responds “Sure, why not?” – and both chuckle. Cuomo then tears into “women who do work [at ABC]” for accusing him of getting overly touchy-feely in elevators and hinting there was at least one allegation floating around of him having forced himself on someone.

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The anchor also took a dim view of his own profession, reminding Cohen, “the media is not your friend.

Carlson reminded his audience that Cuomo would be the first to demand the firing of any other reporter accused of sexual harassment – as Carlson himself was last month by a former guest on his show whose story has not held up under scrutiny. The conservative pundit hinted there are “many such tapes” of Cuomo and Cohen and claimed CNN declined to respond to the allegations when his producers reached out before the show.

While many were quick to cry hypocrisy over a president who has himself been accused of sexual misconduct by numerous women and who once infamously referred to “grabbing women by the p***y” slamming Cuomo for disrespecting women, the remark appeared to be an intentional troll. Trump’s next tweet was a dig at MSNBC host Joy Reid for her “horrible use of the words ‘Muslim Terrorists’” – a phrase the president himself isn’t exactly unfamiliar with.

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