“I’m seeing Governor Cuomo today at The White House,” Trump tweeted. “He must understand that National Security far exceeds politics. New York must stop all of its unnecessary lawsuits & harassment, start cleaning itself up, and lowering taxes.”
Trump added: “Build relationships, but don’t bring Fredo!."
The “Fredo” reference is a nod to “The Godfather” films and Trump is comparing Chris Cuomo – a CNN anchor and the governor’s brother – to a character in the film who ultimately betrays his brother. The reference was first made by a Trump supporter last summer in a viral video that saw the television journalist get irate with the man for the insult.
In the video, Cuomo says the term was meant as a derogatory term for his Italian heritage, similar to the “N-word” for African Americans.
“Punk-a** b*****s from the right call me Fredo,” Cuomo said in the video. “My name is Chris Cuomo. I’m an anchor on CNN. Fredo is from The Godfather. He was a weak brother and they use it as an Italian aspersion.”
The jab from Trump, who has used the slight against the television anchor in the past, is sure to add even more tension between him and the New York governor when they meet at the White House Thursday.
The Democratic governor and Republican president plan to meet Thursday to discuss their dispute over New York's new “Green Light” law, which lets unauthorized immigrants obtain state driver's licenses and also bars federal immigration agents from accessing state motor vehicle records.
The Trump administration responded to the law by blocking New Yorkers from enrolling in Global Entry and other “trusted traveler” programs that let people flying or driving into the country pass through security more quickly.
Cuomo says he's willing to restore federal access to driving records on a limited basis.
But in a midday news conference Thursday, Cuomo pledged not to let federal immigration agents see lists of people who had applied for a new type of license that doesn't require applicants to prove they are in the U.S. legally.
“If they think they're going to extort New York into giving them a database of undocumented people, they're wrong. I will never do that," Cuomo said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.