CAUGHT ON TAPE: GOP Lawmaker Threatens Local Reporter
Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) was caught on tape last night going off on a local reporter who asked him a question that he was not expecting and did not want to answer.
The shocking footage shows Grimm threatening the NY1 reporter, telling him, "If you ever do that to me again, I'll throw you off this f***ing balcony."
He then told the reporter, "You're not man enough, I'll break you in half. Like a boy."
Grimm, 43, is in his second term in Congress, representing Staten Island.
The reporter, Michael Scotto, sparked the reaction from Grimm by asking about allegations of campaign finance violations that are being investigated by the Justice Department.
Grimm defended his actions in a statement:
“I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favor by rushing to do their interview first in lieu of several other requests. The reporter knew that I was in a hurry and was only there to comment on the State of the Union, but insisted on taking a disrespectful and cheap shot at the end of the interview, because I did not have time to speak off-topic. I verbally took the reporter to task and told him off, because I expect a certain level of professionalism and respect, especially when I go out of my way to do that reporter a favor. I doubt that I am the first member of Congress to tell off a reporter, and I am sure I won’t be the last."
Scotto, appearing on MSNBC this morning, explained that Grimm walked away when he brought up the allegations. After he tossed it back to the studio, Grimm then walked back over and got in his face.
"I was taken aback. I'm used to people giving me pushback for questions but I was not used to something like that," he said.
The political director of NY1 has demanded a full apology from Grimm.
Watch the confrontation above, including a report from Elizabeth Prann.
Update, 1:00p ET: Grimm told reporters today, “The bottom line is, I overreacted,” but maintained that he felt Scotto’s question was “inappropriate.”
@repmichaelgrimm called to apologize. He said he "overreacted." I accepted his apology.
— Michael Scotto (@mikescotto) January 29, 2014
Grimm said he and Scotto will have lunch next week to "make sure this is all behind us." Hear more of the congressman's apology below: