WASHINGTON - Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., threatened to “break” a local reporter in half and throw him off the balcony in the Capitol rotunda during a post-State of the Union interview turned toxic.
Grimm, who is under federal investigation over his 2010 campaign financing, refused to answer a question from NY1 reporter Michael Scotto about the investigation.
But as the cameras continued rolling, Grimm returned to physically confront Scotto, and according to a transcript posted by NY1, threatened him.
“Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this f***ing balcony,” Grimm says.
After several seconds, the confrontation continues slightly off-camera, but Grimm added more as he walked away.
“No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy,” he said.
The video, which aired on NY1′s broadcast, is riveting. You can watch it all here .
Grimm issued a statement, slamming what he called the reporter’s “disrespectful and cheap shots.”
“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 in the statement provided to NY1.
“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. … 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.”
NY1 Political Director Bob Hardt also released a statement. “It is extremely disturbing when anyone threatens one of our reporters – let alone a U.S. congressman,” Hardt said. ”The NY1 family is certainly alarmed and disappointed by the behavior of Rep. Grimm and demands a full apology from him. This behavior is unacceptable.”