In a video that lit up Twitter Monday night, the CNN host can be seen getting hot under the collar, saying an unidentified man had called him “Fredo” ― an insult referring to Fredo Corleone, the hapless, womanizing character from the “Godfather” films. During that confrontation, Cuomo, who is of Italian descent, likened “Fredo” to a racial slur.
“It’s an insult to your fucking people,” Cuomo tells the man in the video, referring to Italians. “It’s like the n-word for us.”
On Tuesday, neglecting to mention that comparison at all, Cuomo tweeted that he “should be better than the guys baiting me.”
“There is a lesson: no need to add to the ugliness,” he wrote. “I should be better than what I oppose.”
The video of Cuomo’s argument was shared by a reporter for The Daily Wire, a right-wing website.
“Punk-ass bitches from the right call me Fredo. My name is Chris Cuomo. I’m an anchor on CNN,” Cuomo says in the video. “Fredo is from ‘The Godfather,’ he was that weak brother and they’re using it as an Italian aspersion.”
Cuomo’s brother Andrew is the Democratic governor of New York.
A spokesperson for CNN told Mediaite they “completely” support Cuomo following the incident: “Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup.”
President Donald Trump also responded to the drama on Tuesday morning with a dig at Cuomo. (Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, has been called “Fredo” a time or two himself.)
“I thought Chris was Fredo also,” the president tweeted. “The truth hurts. Totally lost it! Low ratings @CNN.”