Republican Congressman Michael Grimm Threatens to Break Reporter in Half
The State of the Union was Tuesday night! DC got its hair done and went to watch President Obama regale a captive nation with stories about meager but sustained economic growth and how Congress is basically the worst, but 2014 is a new year and the sun will come out tomorrow so turn that frown upside down, kiddo!
Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) did not, in fact, turn his frown upside down. Instead, he threatened to throw NY1 reporter Michael Scotto off a balcony after being asked about alleged campaign finance irregularities.
You know, like you do.
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." [[cross talk]]
Grimm: "No, no, you're not man enough, you're not man enough. I'll break you in half. Like a boy."
Later, Grimm released a statement in which he failed to apologize, generally blamed the whole thing on the pesky unprofessional reporter, and sort of hinted towards more physical threats to come:
"I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favor by rushing to do their interview in lieu of several other requests...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 certain I won't be the last."
Grimm, a former FBI agent, should learn two things from this episode:
1) Don't threaten reporters with physical violence.
2) If you do threaten reporters with physical violence, don't do it when the reporters' camera crew is still filming B roll. You'll look pretty unhinged!
UPDATE: On Wednesday, Grimm released a second, less-tone deaf statement.
"I was wrong. I shouldn't have allowed my emotions to get the better of me and lose my cool. I have apologized to Michael Scotto, which he graciously accepted, and will be scheduling a lunch soon. In the weeks and months ahead I'll be working hard for my constituents on issues like food insurance that is so desperately need in my district post Sandy."
Front page image: Rep. Michael Grimm/House.gov