CNN on Monday defended late-night anchor Chris CuomoChristopher (Chris) Charles CuomoCNN slams GOP for not appearing on network after mass shootings, conservatives fire back Biden to Harris: ‘Go easy on me kid’ CNN’s Cuomo spars with Kris Kobach over whether Trump’s tweet was racist 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”
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
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) August 13, 2019
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 John TrumpHarris campaigns off of NRA attack Help wanted: American ambassador in Moscow Goldman Sachs CEO dismisses ‘impending economic crisis’ amid rising recession fears 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 TrumpCastro takes heat as outed Trump donors swing back Judge questions Barr’s handling of Mueller findings Hey, Democrats: Stop attacking our most beloved president in recent history 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: ‘Pretty obvious’ I don’t support Trump’s reelection bid Scaramucci: GOP may need to replace Trump for 2020 Scaramucci fires back at Trump: He will turn ‘on everyone’ and then ‘entire country’ MORE defended Cuomo, saying on Twitter that “this happens all the time” and it’s “quite racist.”
Fox News host Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityBill Maher roots for recession so that Trump loses in 2020 Hannity, de Blasio spar over taxes, meatless Mondays Trump lashes out at Fox News’s Shep Smith, says ‘fake news CNN is better’ MORE also came to the defense of Cuomo, saying that Cuomo was the one who deserved an apology.
I say good for @ChrisCuomo
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
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) August 13, 2019