Chris Cuomo filmed threatening man who called him ‘Fredo’

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CNN host said ‘It’s like the N-word for’ Italian Americans after man at bar appeared to insult him with a Godfather reference

A video emerged on Monday night in which CNN anchor Chris Cuomo can be seen engaged in a tense confrontation with an unknown man and threatening to throw him down some stairs after the man called him “Fredo”.

In the video, reportedly taken in a bar on Long Island on Sunday, Cuomo is irate over a perceived insult from the man, an apparent reference to a character from the Godfather film. Cuomo suggests in the video it was meant as derogatory term for his Italian heritage, similar to the “N-word” for African Americans.

“Punk-ass bitches from the right call me Fredo,” Cuomo says. “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 is the son of former New York governor Mario Cuomo and brother of the state’s current governor Andrew Cuomo.

“I’ll fucking ruin your shit,” Cuomo says as the argument continues. “I’ll fucking throw you down these stairs.”

The as of yet unidentified man in the video, which was originally uploaded to a rightwing YouTube channel and shared widely by Trump-supporting personalities on Twitter, appears to be deliberately antagonizing the news anchor in order to provoke a reaction, an outcome he certainly accomplished.

“Are any of you Italian?” Cuomo asks the group gathered around during the argument. “It’s an insult to your people … It’s like the N-word for us.”

On Monday night CNN stood by the anchor.

“Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup,” CNN spokesman Matt Dornic tweeted. “We completely support him.”

The conflation of the term Fredo with the N-word was immediately criticized by many on social media, but Cuomo also received his share of support from some unlikely sources, including Anthony Scaramucci, who tweeted he was “proud of” Cuomo, and also Fox News right-wing host Sean Hannity.

“I say good for @ChrisCuomo,” Hannity tweeted. “He’s out with his nine-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.”

The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr, pushed back against CNN’s defense of Cuomo, posting a video of his show in which he himself was referred to as Fredo.

Trump weighed in this morning as well, amid other tweets addressing trade conflicts with China and a political endorsement.

“I thought Chris was Fredo also,” Trump tweeted. “The truth hurts.”

The president followed that with a reference to “red flag” laws, which are meant to take guns from people deemed potentially dangerous and which have been much-discussed after mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton this month.

“Would Chris Cuomo be given a Red Flag for his recent rant?” Trump wrote. “Filthy language and a total loss of control. He shouldn’t be allowed to have any weapon. He’s nuts!”

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