Michael Grimm threatens NY1 reporter
Rep. Michael Grimm appeared to threaten a reporter for New York 1 News on Tuesday night, after the reporter attempted to ask the congressman about the ongoing federal probe into his campaign fund-raising.
Grimm’s exchange with reporter Michael Scotto came after the Staten Island congressman abruptly ended his on-camera interview by walking away when Scott attempted to ask about his fund-raising. In footage posted online, Grimm can be seen walking off-camera, then returning after the segment, and aggressively addressing Scotto.
The station’s political director, Bob Hardt, tweeted that Grimm “threatened to throw [Scotto] over the balcony and then said, ‘I will break you in half.’”
The exchange took place in Washington, after President Obama’s State of the Union speech.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign has already begun circulating footage of the incident. A message left for the Republican National Campaign Committee was not immediately returned.
A Texas woman was arrested last week for making illegal donations to Grimm's campaign in 2010.
In 2011, the New Yorker published a detailed account of Grimm, a former F.B.I. agent and former Marine, pulling out a gun after an altercation at a night club.
Grimm was elected in 2010 after unseating Michael McMahon, a freshman Democrat and former City Councilman.
If confirmed, the exchange could violate House Ethics rules requiring members of Congress to conduct themselves "at all times in manner that shall reflect creditably on House."
Here's the video of the exchange that's being circulated by the DCCC:
UPDATE: In a statement, NY1's political director, Bob Hardt said, "It is extremely disturbing when anyone threatens one of our reporters – let alone a U.S. Congressman. The NY1 family is certainly alarmed and disappointed by the behavior of Representative Grimm and demands a full apology from him. This behavior is unacceptable."
In a statement provided to the Huffington Post, Grimm said, "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’m sure I won’t be the last.”