After being interviewed on air for a response to Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, Representative Michael Grimm (R-NY) physically threatened a NY1 reporter.
Grimm’s threats came after reporter Michael Scotto asked him about an ongoing federal investigation of his 2010 campaign finances. In video of the incident, the congressman and former FBI agent abrubtly storms off after Scotto brings up the case. Moments later, Grimm accosts the reporter and threatens to throw him off the Capital rotunda balcony. “You’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy,” he added.
Grimm released this statement to NY1 after a video of the incident surfaced:
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.
Here’s the video:
“So Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances,” Scotto said before tossing back to the station. But as the camera continued to roll, Grimm walked back up to Scotto and began speaking to him in a low voice.
“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.”
UPDATE 10:21 am: Reporter Evan Ratliff, who reported on Representative Grimm’s prior work as an undercover FBI agent for The New Yorker, says the congressman has a history of alleged power abuse. In 1999, Grimm, then an agent, allegedly threatened an off-duty NYPD officer in a night club with a gun, saying “I’ll fuckin’ make him disappear where nobody will find him” and “I’m going to fuckin’ kill him.” Later, searching for the officer, Grimm allegedly shouted, “All the white people get out of here.” The congressman has denied the allegations.