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August 24, 2019

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CNN backs Chris Cuomo after caught-on-video confrontation

Chris Cuomo

Evan Agostini/Invision / AP

In this Dec. 8, 2018, file photo, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo attends the 12th annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

NEW YORK — CNN says it completely supports anchor Chris Cuomo 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 conservative YouTube channel. 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. The man made the video.

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 Dornic calls "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."