Rep. Michael Grimm Threatens NY1 Reporter Michael Scotto on Camera: 'I'll Throw You Off This F---ing Balcony' (Video)
After Tuesday night's State of the Union, things really heated up in the Capitol when Staten Island congressman Michael Grimm threatened an NY1 reporter on the air.
At the conclusion of their brief interview about the president's speech, correspondent Michael Scotto started to ask a question about the ongoing federal investigation into Grimm's 2010 campaign fundraising, but Grimm cut him off, saying "I'm not speaking to you off-topic, this is only about the president."
Scotto then addressed the camera, saying, "So Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances," but Grimm walked back to him and confronted him on the air.
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"Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I'll throw you off this f---ing balcony," Grimm said.
As the exchange continued, Grimm added, "I'll break you in half. Like a boy."
Grimm released the following statement on the incident: "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."
But NY1 political director Bob Hardt said the network is "alarmed and disappointed" by Grimm's "unacceptable" behavior and demands a full apology.
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Scotto appeared on CNN's New Day Wednesday morning, where he told host Chris Cuomo that he was surprised by Grimm's reaction but he's not taking the threats seriously.
"I decided to throw in that question because we had been waiting to hear from him on allegations that had surfaced just a couple of weeks ago," Scotto explained. "When I asked that question I wasn't really expecting much of a response. I thought maybe he'd say, you know, 'I don't want to talk about that' or 'I've done nothing wrong,' something to that extent, and then it kind of devolved into what we saw on television. … I'm a New York City reporter. I'm used to push-back, but I'd never encountered anything like that."
Grimm apparently apologized later this morning, according to the following tweet Scotto posted:
@repmichaelgrimm called to apologize. He said he "overreacted." I accepted his apology.— Michael Scotto (@mikescotto) January 29, 2014
The FBI earlier this month charged a woman with using straw donors to exceed the maximum allowable contribution to Grimm's campaign committee.
Watch the full NY1 incident below, followed by Scotto's CNN interview.