Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) physically threatened a NY1 reporter in a post-State-of-the-Union interview Tuesday night after the reporter, Michael Scotto, asked Grimm about an ongoing federal investigation into his campaign contributions.
Scotto began to ask a question at the end of the interview when Grimm cut him off.
“I’m not talking about anything that’s off-topic. This is only about the President’s speech,” Grimm said.
Scotto reported back to the studio, in a live shot, that Grimm “does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances.” After Scotto’s live shot was completed, Grimm approached him and, according to NY1, threatened to throw him off a Capitol Hill balcony:
“What?” Scotto responded. “I just wanted to ask you…”
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.”
In a statement issued through a spokesman, Grimm said that the reporter had taken a disrespectful “cheap shot” that prompted him to become “annoyed.”
“I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favour by rushing to do their interview first in lieu of several other requests,” Grimm said in the statement, which a spokesman emailed to Business Insider.
“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 favour. 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.”
Earlier this month, the FBI charged 47-year-old Diana Durand, a friend of Grimm, with using straw donors to illegally funnel more than the maximum allowable contribution to Grimm’s campaign.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee immediately blasted out a story on Grimm’s threat of Scotto. Grimm is considered one of the most vulnerable incumbent Republicans in the 2014 midterm elections.
Here’s the full video captured by NY1:
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