CNN primetime host Christopher Cuomo broke his silence Tuesday regarding a viral undercover video showing the network anchor threatening physical violence against an unidentified man for calling him “Fredo.”
“Appreciate all the support but – truth is I should be better than the guys baiting me. 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,” Cuomo, who is reportedly on vacation, wrote on Twitter.
Appreciate all the support but – truth is I should be better than the guys baiting me. 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.
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) August 13, 2019
Cuomo’s statement comes as CNN says it completely supports the anchor after he was seen on video threatening to push a man down some stairs during a confrontation after the man apparently called him “Fredo,” in a seeming reference to the Godfather movies.
The video appeared Monday on a YouTube channel with the title “That’s the Point with Brandon.” Host Brandon Recor told the Washington Post the exchange happened Sunday at a bar in Shelter Island, New York, after a man approached Cuomo for a picture.
It doesn’t show the “Fredo” reference but depicts Cuomo’s profanity-laced reaction as he characterizes the comment as an anti-Italian slur. The man says he thought “Fredo” was Cuomo’s name.
CNN spokesman Matt Dornic tweeted that Cuomo “defended himself” after being slurred in what he called “an orchestrated setup.”
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump added his voice to the fray, tweeting, “I thought Chris was Fredo also. The truth hurts. Totally lost it! Low ratings @CNN.”
The nickname “Fredo” for Cuomo was popularized by Breitbart News editor-at-large John Nolte and is used often by radio talkshow legend Rush Limbaugh.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.