- (Photo: NY1 Video screencap)
Republican congressman Michael Grimm of New York threatened to "break in half" a NY1 reporter and throw him off the balcony Tuesday night following President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, after the journalist asked him questions about an investigation into his campaign finances.
The incident, which was captured on camera and uploaded online, shows Grimm walking away from an interview with reporter Michael Scotto at Capitol Hill, after he refuses to comment on questions concerning a federal investigation into his campaign fundraising.
After a few moments Grimm walks back, however, and says: "Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I'll throw you off this f-----g balcony," staring down the reporter. According to the transcript of the audio, parts of which can be heard in the video, the GOP congressman then tells Scotto, "No, no, you're not man enough, you're not man enough. I'll break you in half. Like a boy."
NY1 Political Director Bob Hardt has called the incident "extremely disturbing."
"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," Hardt said in a statement.
Grimm has stated that he will not be apologizing, however, and said that he was "extremely annoyed" as he was rushing to do other interviews at the time.
"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," the NY Congressman explained.
"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," Grimm added. "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."
The New York Times reported that earlier this month, the FBI arrested Grimm's fundraiser, Diana K. Durand, and charged her with illegally funneling more than $10,000 into his campaign. Grimm's campaign has also been accused of illegally soliciting money from foreign donors.
Grimm is serving his second term in Congress, representing the Staten Island borough and parts of Brooklyn, and serves on the House Financial Services Committee.