Video shows Chris Cuomo in altercation after man calls him 'Fredo'

CNN on Monday defended late-night anchor Chris CuomoChristopher (Chris) Charles CuomoTrump dings CNN, 'Morning Joe' ratings as Tucker Carlson sets record CNN's Chris Cuomo lauds brother in panned interview: 'You're both awful' Ken Burns: 'Confederate monuments have to go' MORE after video surfaced showing him getting in a heated, profanity laced confrontation with an individual who referred to him as "Fredo," a fictional character from "The Godfather."

"Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup," CNN spokesperson Matt Dornic said in a statement on Twitter late Monday. "We completely support him."

The video, which was first shared on YouTube and other social media platforms, shows Cuomo repeatedly cursing at a man who appeared to mock him by calling him "Fredo." It is unclear when and where the exchange took place. 

"Punk ass bitches from the right call me Fredo," Cuomo says to a man standing beside him. "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."

 

Cuomo, an Italian, then argues that the term "Fredo" is a racist slur similar to calling an African American the N-word. 

Following those remarks, the man who initially confronted Cuomo tells him that he's a "much more reasonable guy in person than you seem to be on television."

"If you want to play then we’ll f---ing play," Cuomo responds. "If you’ve got something to say about what I do on television then say it."

The man replies by claiming that he thought the CNN host's name was Fredo, leading Cuomo to become increasingly agitated. 

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"You’re going to have a big f---ing problem," Cuomo says at one point, before telling the man that he'll "f---ing throw you down these stairs like a f---ing punk."

Several people can then be seen getting in between the two of them and holding Cuomo back. 

The video was first released by the YouTube channel "That's The Point with Brandon," an outlet that highlights its support of President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats blast Trump for commuting Roger Stone: 'The most corrupt president in history' Trump confirms 2018 US cyberattack on Russian troll farm Trump tweets his support for Goya Foods amid boycott MORE on its "about" page. Trump has repeatedly attacked CNN and its coverage throughout his presidency. 

Some Trump aides immediately took issue with Cuomo's characterization that "Fredo" was a slur comparable to the N-word. 

"The N word is a dehumanizing word used against blacks who endured years of oppression," Katrina Pierson, a Trump campaign aide, said on Twitter. "Fredo is a term from The Godfather, referring to the dumb brother. Equivocating the two is pure racism.

"I assume @cnn not available for comment," Donald Trump Jr.Don John TrumpSouth Dakota governor flew with Trump on Air Force One after being exposed to coronavirus: report Gianforte halts in-person campaigning after wife, running mate attend event with Guilfoyle Trump Jr. knocks CNN's Chris Cuomo over interview with father: 'I'm not pretending to be a journalist' MORE, the president's eldest son, tweeted. "Imagine their coverage of this if they were a real news organization?"

Former White House communications director Anthony ScaramucciAnthony ScaramucciRepublican operatives pushing GOP turnout for Biden with new super PAC President sinks amid stumbles over protests Sunday shows preview: Protests against George Floyd's death, police brutality rock the nation for a second week MORE defended Cuomo, saying on Twitter that "this happens all the time" and it's "quite racist."

Fox News host Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Fauci says focus should be on pausing reopenings rather than reverting to shutdowns; WHO director pleads for international unity in pandemic response The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump visits Florida amid coronavirus surge Trump claims he recently 'aced' a cognitive test, challenges Biden to take it MORE also came to the defense of Cuomo, saying that Cuomo was the one who deserved an apology.