Cuomo on Trump to Howard Stern: ‘If I wasn’t governor of New York, I would have decked him’

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<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="ALBANY, N.Y. – Gov. Andrew Cuomo apparently had thoughts about what he would liked to have done to President Donald Trump if he wasn’t governor: Deck him.” data-reactid=”11″>ALBANY, N.Y. – Gov. Andrew Cuomo apparently had thoughts about what he would liked to have done to President Donald Trump if he wasn’t governor: Deck him.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="In an hourlong interview on The&nbsp;Howard Stern Show, Cuomo said Monday he took particular issue when Trump made what he viewed were anti-Italian slurs against his younger brother Chris, the primetime CNN anchor, who Trump regularly called Fredo — the hapless middle brother in "The Godfather."” data-reactid=”12″>In an hourlong interview on The Howard Stern Show, Cuomo said Monday he took particular issue when Trump made what he viewed were anti-Italian slurs against his younger brother Chris, the primetime CNN anchor, who Trump regularly called Fredo — the hapless middle brother in “The Godfather.”

“If I wasn’t governor of New York, I would have decked him. Period,” Cuomo told the radio legend. “I mean he was attacking me, he was attacking my family, he was anti-Italian. Every nasty thing.”

But Cuomo said he choose to pull his punches with the Republican president, saying he tried to balance working with him during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring and criticizing him when it was warranted.

“Once you say, hit him once below the belt – just because it would make you feel better. Let’s be honest. And he’s so vulnerable. Now you’re down in the mud with him. And now in some ways, you damn your own cause,” Cuomo said.

But Cuomo added, “Take away that word governor for 24 hours, I would have had a field day with him.”

A history between Cuomo and Trump

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo gives his daily coronavirus press briefing at New York Medical College on the campus of the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla May 7, 2020. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo gives his daily coronavirus press briefing at New York Medical College on the campus of the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla May 7, 2020.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo gives his daily coronavirus press briefing at New York Medical College on the campus of the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla May 7, 2020.

Cuomo and Trump are both tough-talking Queens natives who have known each other for decades.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="And they&nbsp;talked regularly when the COVID pandemic struck New York. Cuomo estimated he probably talked to Trump 50 to 100 times during the initial crisis, including a visit in April to the White House.” data-reactid=”34″>And they talked regularly when the COVID pandemic struck New York. Cuomo estimated he probably talked to Trump 50 to 100 times during the initial crisis, including a visit in April to the White House.

So Stern asked Cuomo if he ever asked the president about the personal attacks. Chris Cuomo has also been a critic of Trump on his CNN show, which his older brother has regularly appeared.

The elder Cuomo said he viewed the attacks on Chris as directed at him through his brother, saying he had the “added fraternal guilt of having my brother hurt because the guy wanted to hurt me.”

So Cuomo said he did bring up the issue to Trump in the White House.

“I said to him, ‘You want to attack me, attack me. I don’t have a problem with that. But why are you bringing my family into it? Why are you bringing my brother into it? He’s just doing his job. He’s a journalist. And that’s what they do. He asks tough questions,” Cuomo told Stern.

Cuomo said it didn’t get him anywhere.

“But Trump, he has such a fragile personality. He cannot take any criticism. It’s beyond thin skinned. That doesn’t get to it. ” he continued. “He’s so emotionally fragile and desperate for affirmation. Any criticism, even if it’s purely factual, he goes crazy and you can’t talk to him.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="More: Donald Trump books will continue after the president leaves office” data-reactid=”41″>More: Donald Trump books will continue after the president leaves office

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="‘SNL’: John Mulaney sends up Times Square and COVID, calls Trump vs. Biden an ‘elderly man contest’” data-reactid=”42″>‘SNL’: John Mulaney sends up Times Square and COVID, calls Trump vs. Biden an ‘elderly man contest’

Cuomo discusses Trump, Jared Kushner with Howard Stern

Howard Stern speaks at the 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Cleveland on April 14, 2018.Howard Stern speaks at the 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Cleveland on April 14, 2018.
Howard Stern speaks at the 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Cleveland on April 14, 2018.

Republicans and Trump have knocked Cuomo for the COVID response because New York has the highest death toll in the nation, including more than 6,500 people who died in nursing homes.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Cuomo's appearance on Stern's show, his second since the pandemic started,&nbsp;was also part of Democratic governor's book tour. He released a book, "American Crisis," last month on the lessons learned from COVID and the fight ahead.” data-reactid=”58″>Cuomo’s appearance on Stern’s show, his second since the pandemic started, was also part of Democratic governor’s book tour. He released a book, “American Crisis,” last month on the lessons learned from COVID and the fight ahead.

Trump has panned the book.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content=""Governor Cuomo has shown tremendously poor leadership skills in running N.Y.," Trump wrote Oct. 19 on Twitter.” data-reactid=”60″>”Governor Cuomo has shown tremendously poor leadership skills in running N.Y.,” Trump wrote Oct. 19 on Twitter.

“Bad time for him to be writing and promoting a book, especially since he has done such a poor job with Covid and Crime. So many unnecessary deaths. The City & State have sunk to historic lows…”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The Cuomos have long fought Italian stereotypes, and their late father, the three-term governor, Mario, refused most of his life to watch "The Godfather" because of the way he felt it portrayed Italians.” data-reactid=”63″>The Cuomos have long fought Italian stereotypes, and their late father, the three-term governor, Mario, refused most of his life to watch “The Godfather” because of the way he felt it portrayed Italians.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="In August 2019, Chris Cuomo got into a heated argument&nbsp;with a man at a Long Island restaurant who called him "Fredo," which became a viral video.” data-reactid=”64″>In August 2019, Chris Cuomo got into a heated argument with a man at a Long Island restaurant who called him “Fredo,” which became a viral video.

Since then, Trump went with the Fredo line himself.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content=""@CNN should move Fredo back to the morning slot," Trump opined July 2 on Twitter.&nbsp;"He was rewarded for bad ratings with a much better time slot – and again got really bad ratings. Getting totally trounced by @FoxNews. Give him another shot in the morning – He would easily beat Morning Joe’s poorly rated show!"” data-reactid=”66″>”@CNN should move Fredo back to the morning slot,” Trump opined July 2 on Twitter. “He was rewarded for bad ratings with a much better time slot – and again got really bad ratings. Getting totally trounced by @FoxNews. Give him another shot in the morning – He would easily beat Morning Joe’s poorly rated show!”

The governor said using the term Fredo is illustrative of comments people might make about people’s religion or race that might appear harmless but are hateful.

“You develop real sensitivity when someone is making a comment,” he said. “Well you should laugh it off. It’s not anti-Semitic. It was a comment about Jewish people, and you should laugh it off. It’s not about Blacks, he was just saying, it was funny.

“No, it’s not funny. First, the Mafia stereotype has been such a stain on Italians for so long. And that’s where they are going to.”

Cuomo did have some unexpected praise for someone in Trump’s inner circle: his son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Cuomo even likened Kushner to his own experience being at the side of his father in the governor’s office as a young adult.

“I know everybody hates Jared now, and it was just nepotism and he takes a lot of the heat. It’s easier to hate Jared than the president,” Cuomo said. “It was easier to hate me than my father. Nobody really wanted to say I hate the governor and the governor hates me. But Andrew it was easy. It was a great deflection.”

Cuomo said he believes Kushner was trying to help New York in the White House.

“Jared did try for New York. Now, Jared, I think, was coming back to New York and Ivanka was coming back to New York and Jared knew people in New York,” Cuomo said.

“Trump had already decided he was going to Florida. He moved his residency for the sole reason that being a Florida resident would help him with the voters in Florida.”

But for Kushner, Cuomo said: “Jared had a vested interest in doing what he could for New York. I believe that.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="This article originally appeared on New York State Team: Andrew Cuomo on Trump: ‘I would have decked him’ if I wasn’t governor” data-reactid=”78″>This article originally appeared on New York State Team: Andrew Cuomo on Trump: ‘I would have decked him’ if I wasn’t governor

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