Staten Island’s Rep. Michael Grimm threatens NY1 reporter after State of the Union

A Staten Island congressman physically threatened a NY1 reporter following the State of the Union in Washington, according to the news organization.

Rep. Michael Grimm threatened NY1′s Michael Scotto in the Capitol after the political reporter tried to ask him about an ongoing federal investigation into his 2010 campaign fundraising, the organization reported.

“And just finally before we let you go, we haven’t had a chance to talk about some of the…” Scotto began to ask after Grimm spoke about the president’s address.

Grimm replied that he wouldn’t speak off-topic, only about the State of the Union, before walking off camera, NY1 reported.

“So Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances,” Scotto said, concluding the live segment.

But NY1 reported that Grimm walked back to Scotto, speaking to him in a low voice as the camera continued rolling.

Here is a transcript of the exchange compiled by NY1:

Scotto: “What? 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—ing balcony.”
Scotto: “Why? I just wanted to ask you…”
[cross talk]
Grimm: “If you ever do that to me again…”
Scotto: “Why? Why? It’s a valid question.”
[cross talk]
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 to the press, Grimm explained his reaction.

“I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favor by rushing to do their interview first in lieu of several other requests,” Grimm 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.”

Grimm continued that he “took the reporter to task.”

“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,” he said.

In a statement, NY1 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 Rep. Grimm and demands a full apology from him,” Hardt continued. “This behavior is unacceptable.”

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter @AnnaESanders



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