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

CNN on Monday defended late-night anchor Chris CuomoChristopher (Chris) Charles CuomoSanders says idea he can't work with Republicans is 'total nonsense' Sanders releases list of how to pay for his proposals Trump takes shot at Cuomo's brother ahead of Oval Office meeting 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 TrumpWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far 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.Donald (Don) John TrumpTrump Jr., Meadows wear matching Trump jackets on 'Fox & Friends' Group auctioning off hunting trip with Donald Trump Jr. Trump allies to barnstorm Iowa for caucuses 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 ScaramucciScaramucci thanks John Kelly for speaking up against Trump Trump lashes out over Kelly criticism: 'He misses the action' Scaramucci: 'Trump fatigue' could help Bloomberg beat Trump if he wins Democratic nomination MORE defended Cuomo, saying on Twitter that "this happens all the time" and it's "quite racist."

Fox News host Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityFox News prime-time lineup delivers highest ratings in 24-year history O'Reilly weighs in on Warren-Bloomberg exchange on nondisclosure agreements The Hill's review of John Solomon's columns on Ukraine MORE also came to the defense of Cuomo, saying that Cuomo was the one who deserved an apology.