CNN on Monday defended late-night anchor Chris CuomoChris CuomoDemocrats brush off risks of paring down spending package Family attorney: 'Probability is strong' that human remains found belong to Brian Laundrie The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Arizona recount to show Trump's loss by even wider margin 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."
Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup. We completely support him.— Matt Dornic (@mdornic) August 13, 2019
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."
A man in NY yesterday approached CNN's Chris Cuomo and called him "Fredo"— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) August 13, 2019
Cuomo: "You're going to have a problem"
Man: "What are you going to do about it?"
Cuomo: "I'll fuckin ruin your shit. I'll fucking throw you down these stairs"
Credit: "THAT'S THE POINT with Brandon" pic.twitter.com/4iWwzaSQpF
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.
"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 TrumpGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal 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 TrumpHow Trump uses fundraising emails to remain undisputed leader of the GOP Donald Trump Jr. joins Cameo Book claims Trump family members were 'inappropriately' close with Secret Service agents 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 ScaramucciAnti-Trump Republicans endorsing vulnerable Democrats to prevent GOP takeover 'Only the Rich Can Play' documents how Republican program to help the poor didn't Want to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump MORE defended Cuomo, saying on Twitter that "this happens all the time" and it's "quite racist."
Fox News host Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityBiden's safe-space CNN town hall attracts small audience, as poll numbers plummet Meghan McCain: 'SNL' parodies made me feel like 'laughing stock of the country' Biden giving stiff-arm to press interviews MORE also came to the defense of Cuomo, saying that Cuomo was the one who deserved an apology.
I say good for @ChrisCuomo— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) August 13, 2019
He’s out with his 9 year old daughter, and his wife, and this guy is being a jackass in front of his family.
Imho Chris Cuomo has zero to apologize for. He deserves the apology. https://t.co/VnyMNgz14U