This story has been getting a lot of attention this morning.
It’s the response of Staten Island congressman Michael Grimm after an interview on local TV following the State of the Union:
Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm physically threatened NY1 political reporter Michael Scotto at the conclusion of an interview in the Capitol Rotunda following Tuesday night’s State of the Union address.
Scotto then tried to ask the congressman about the ongoing federal investigation into his 2010 campaign fundraising:
“And just finally before we let you go, we haven’t had a chance to talk about some of the…” Scotto began before Grimm cut him off.
“I’m not speaking to you off-topic, this is only about the president,” said Grimm, before walking off camera.
“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.”
You can see part of the video below.
You can read more, including Grimm defending his actions, at the link.
An interesting footnote: Grimm is Catholic, and has been an outspoken defender of the Church on a variety of issues. His biography notes that he grew up in Brooklyn and was raised in Queens, attending Archbishop Molloy High School (not far from my home, in fact.)
Last fall, he released a statement, saying the GOP could learn a lot from the example of Pope Francis, and he even came out last winter saying he’d vote for Cardinal Dolan for pope, if he could. He also has a strong pro-life record.
Except, I guess, when it comes to TV reporters he’d like to break in two and throw off a balcony…
UPDATE: Late this morning, the congressman offered this apology:
Rep. Michael Grimm on Wednesday personally apologized to a reporter he physically threatened after the State of the Union during an interview.
Grimm called NY1 reporter Michael Scotto Wednesday morning and Scotto accepted his apology, the reporter tweeted.
The New York Republican said he “overreacted,” Scotto said.
The incident happened during a live interview with Scotto after the president’s address to Congress on Tuesday night. Scotto asked Grimm a question about a probe into alleged campaign violations, causing Grimm to storm off…
…In an interview Wednesday on the Hill, Grimm said he will be going to lunch with Scotto, as well.
“I lost my cool and, you know, so it happened, but that’s why, you know, I apologized,” Grimm said.
He declined to say any more about the ethical questions about his campaign, saying he’s been answering those questions for two years, since the probe began.