New York Republican congressman Michael Grimm confronted a local reporter following Tuesday’s State of the Union after initially walking out on the interview. Irked by an off-topic question, the congressman threatened to throw the NY1 reporter off of the balcony.
At the end of the interview, Michael Scotto tried to squeeze in a question about the federal investigation into Grimm’s fundraising; Grimm said he would only discuss the president’s address, and walked off-camera. Scotto signed off, but a still-rolling camera captured Grimm angrily getting in his face.
“Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this f***ing balcony,” Grimm said, according to a transcript. “I’ll break you in half. Like a boy,” he added.
Since the incident, Grimm has released a statement explaining his actions:
“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.”
UPDATE: Scotto tweeted that Grimm called him to apologize and that he “overreacted” on Tuesday night.
@repmichaelgrimm called to apologize. He said he "overreacted." I accepted his apology.
— Michael Scotto (@mikescotto) January 29, 2014