CNN’s Chris Cuomo was captured on video threatening to harm a man who called him “Fredo” — a term the news anchor has previously said is a slur for Italians.
The footage, reportedly filmed Sunday and shared to Twitter Monday morning, shows Cuomo, who is Italian-American, hurling insults at an unidentified man.
The exchange appears to have started after the man called Cuomo “Fredo,” although that part is not included in the video. Invoking the name Fredo, the incapable son of mafia boss Vito Corleone in the film “The Godfather,” is seen by some as a slur against Italians.
“I’ll f****** throw you down these stairs like a f******* punk,” Cuomo can be heard telling the heckler in the now-viral footage.
“It’s like the N-word for us,” Cuomo says. “Is that a cool f****** thing?”
The man in the clip then tells Cuomo he truly believed his name was Fredo, which seems to further enrage the CNN anchor. The argument continues to escalate from there, leading to Cuomo issuing a series of physical threats.
“Take a swing. No, no, come on boy. You wanna call me s***? Call me s*** then,” the TV personality says as bystanders begin holding the men back from each another. “I’ll f****** wreck your shit.”
Cuomo, the son of former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo and the younger brother of current New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has spoken previously about his thoughts on the term’s usage.
CNN has stood by Cuomo, releasing a statement Tuesday morning defending the anchor’s behavior.
“Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup. We completely support him,” CNN spokesperson Matt Dornic tweeted.
President Trump, who has criticized Cuomo in the past, also weighed in on the footage.
“I thought Chris was Fredo also,” the president tweeted Tuesday morning. “The truth hurts. Totally lost it!”
Donald Trump Jr. gave his thoughts on the incident as well, sharing a response Monday night.
“Hey @ChrisCuomo, take it from me, ‘Fredo’ isn’t the N word for Italians, it just means you’re the dumb brother,” the president’s son tweeted.
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