Congressman Michael Grimm, reportedly under federal investigation after allegations of illegal campaign fund-raising, blew up at and physically threatened a reporter tonight after the president’s State of the Union speech, according to NY1.
During an interview with Mr. Grimm after the speech, the station’s Washington reporter, Michael Scotto, attempted to pivot from the speech to the allegations. But Mr. Grimm, who said he wanted to focus on the evening, visibly stormed off and then came back to confront the reporter.
According to an NY1 transcript of the exchange, Mr. Grimm told the reporter he would “break you in half”:
Grimm: “Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this f—–g balcony.”
Scotto: “Why? I just wanted to ask you…”
Grimm: “If you ever do that to me again…”
Scotto: “Why? Why? It’s a valid question.”
Grimm: “No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”
Reached for comment, Mr. Grimm explained his reaction 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,” he said. “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,” continued Mr. Grimm.
Mr. Grimm, a Staten Island Republican, is running for re-election this year and is facing a challenge from former Councilman Domenic Recchia, a Brooklyn Democrat. The Recchia campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee posted video of the segment, which can be viewed below: