Chris Cuomo: 'I should be better than the guys baiting me'

CNN anchor Chris CuomoChristopher (Chris) Charles CuomoTrump complains of Republicans defending CNN's Cuomo over 'Fredo' video: 'We never learn!' Trump campaign starts selling 'Fredo Unhinged' T-shirt after viral Cuomo video Chris Cuomo: 'I should be better than the guys baiting me' MORE on Tuesday expressed regret after video showed him going on a profanity-laced tirade against a man who apparently mocked him by calling him "Fredo." 

"Appreciate all the support but - truth is I should be better than the guys baiting me," Cuomo said on Twitter. "This happens all the time these days. Often in front of my family. But there is a lesson: no need to add to the ugliness; I should be better than what I oppose."

Footage shared on YouTube and other social media platforms on Monday showed Cuomo repeatedly cursing and threatening a man who called him "Fredo," the name of a fictional character from "The Godfather." 

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"Punk ass b----es 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 American, later argues that the term "Fredo" is a racist slur comparable 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." Moments later, he claims that he thought Cuomo's real name was "Fredo," prompting Cuomo to get 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."

 

The video was first released by the YouTube channel "That's The Point with Brandon," which highlights its support of President Trump on its "about" page. The host of the channel, Brandon Recor, told The Washington Post that the video was taken at a bar in Shelter Island, N.Y. The man who had confronted Cuomo sent the video to the channel, Recor said. 

CNN issued a statement offering a full defense of Cuomo in wake of the incident. 

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

Fox News host Sean Hannity was one of many figures to defend Cuomo, saying the prime-time CNN anchor was the one who deserved an apology. 

But others, including Trump, quickly condemned Cuomo's outburst. 

"Would Chris Cuomo be given a Red Flag for his recent rant?" Trump asked on Twitter, referring to gun legislation that he has endorsed. "Filthy language and a total loss of control. He shouldn’t be allowed to have any weapon. He’s nuts!"

Others criticized Cuomo for comparing the name "Fredo" 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."

Donald Trump Jr., the president's oldest son, tweeted that "'Fredo' isn’t the N word for Italians, it just means you’re the dumb brother."