Congressman Threatens to Throw Reporter off Balcony

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WASHINGTON (CNN) — Rep. Michael Grimm, R-New York, defended his actions late Tuesday night after he physically threatened a NY1 News reporter at the Capitol.

“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 said in a statement given to NY1, a CNN affiliate.

“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 added.

It started when Grimm, who’s under investigation by the Justice Department for illegal fundraising during his 2010 campaign, walked away from an on-camera interview about the State of the Union after the reporter, Michael Scotto, tried to ask him questions about the allegations.

“Alright, so Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about the allegations concerning his campaign finances,” Scotto said. “We wanted to get him on camera on that, but he, as you saw, refused to talk about that. Back to you.”

With the camera still rolling, Grimm surges toward the reporter, who appears visibly surprised.

The second-term congressman, who’s also a former Marine and former FBI agent, spoke aggressively to Scotto for about 20 seconds.

NY1 broadcast the confrontation, though it bleeped out the obscenities.

“Let me be clear to you: If you ever do that to me again, I’ll throw you off this f***ing balcony,” Grimm said.

Scotto replied that he was just trying to ask “a valid question.”

“No, no. You’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half, like a boy,” Grimm replied.

First elected in 2010, Grimm represents Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn.

“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. “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.”

NY1 Political Director Bob Hardt also released a statement, calling the congressman’s behavior “unacceptable.”

“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 Representative Grimm and demands a full apology from him. This behavior is unacceptable,” reads the statement.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which has long been targeting Grimm over the allegations, was quick to push out the confrontation in an e-mail blast to reporters.

Grimm has been known to get testy with reporters in the past, including on CNN’s “The Situation Room” last fall.

–By Ashley Killough, CNN

–CNN’s Conor Finnegan and Greg Seaby contributed to this report.

13 comments

  • Jujubean

    Wow admission of guilt. If this type of threat was to a congress member they would call security. Reporter should press charges.

  • SoSueMe

    Ah yes, this is really news worthy. Let’s sweep the Benghazi tragedy, IRS scandal, National Security scandal, al Qaeda is gaining strength all the world, this president has signed more executive orders than any president in history, all swept under the rug by MSM lapdogs. I could go on, but don’t have enough room to list them all.

    That’s said, why are “all comments closed” by FOX 8 on the article about The State of Union??? Censoring if comments are not favorable towards Obama? Here’s my shocked face :0

    • ronarch13

      Uh, that is because it is all made up right wing nonsense. Just like this: A guy probably committed election fraud and you clowns turn it into an attack on the media. Man faux news has infected you

      • SoSueMe

        Uh, you leftists have never committed any fraud what so ever, huh? What about Secretary of Treasury, Geithner, who committed IRS fraud? You do know who he is, right? What about all the election fraud committed by ACORN? Just to name a few. Not a peep out of you left wing zombies. Oh by the way, how’s that obamacare working for you? LM@O

      • SoSueMe

        Oh, l left out, these are ALLAGATIONS against Grimm. That doesn’t mean he committed any wrong doing. It’s under investigation. Next.

  • sick&tired

    good for him! It’s about time someone stood up to the Obama news media. You don’t see them asking these questions about Benghazi, IRS, etc.

  • Carol

    Wow, finally someone talking to the slanted media like that! Don’t know the guy, don’t care. I’m just so sick of the media and their ‘right’ to stick a camera in anyones face and demand answers.

  • nancy cvitkovic

    This just shows again why we need to start looking at this Congress of ours. Many should be gone, so many should have been fired years ago. They work for “us” The Americans” and they just are not doing performing at the level in which they had promised. I wish we could go through and clean out the Congress, there are some who have seated in Congress for decades and they have no clue what is going on in the world today. Bring in some fresh blood, with new ideas and wiliness to work together and not like children.

  • Darrell Hylton

    this Congress man need to remember who he works for & if there’s fraudulent activities going on the news media has every right to question him on it last I checked we have freedom of the press who supposed to do investigative journalism & that is what that journalist did unlike other media who is bought and paid for by corporations & politicians to not challenge politician or corporations but only to ask questions that was pre scripted for them to ask I say good for that journalist who is not bought of for asking the right question & for that congressman he needs to be impeached for threatening the free press we still have left in this country

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