News Column

Politician Threatens Reporter on Live TV

January 29, 2014

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Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., threatened to toss a reporter over the House balcony after the State of the Union for asking about a campaign finance probe.

Grimm's threat came Tuesday night at the end of an interview on President Obama's speech, which he called "divisive," NY1 reported.

The NY1 reporter then tried to ask Grimm about a federal investigation into his 2010 campaign fundraising but was cut off. Grimm hasn't been charged.

"I'm not speaking to you off-topic, this is only about the president," Grimm said then left.

The reporter, Michael Scotto, wrapped up his interview with, "So Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about the allegations concerning his campaign finances," then signed off.

However, the camera was rolling and Grimm returned to Scotto, NY1 said.

"Let me be clear to you: If you ever do that to me again, I'll throw you off this f***ing balcony," said Grimm, a former Marine and former FBI agent.

Scotto said he was 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 said.

In a statement issued later, Grimm said he was "extremely annoyed" because he thought he was doing NY1 "a favor by rushing to do their interview first in lieu of several other requests."

The reporter knew he was pressed for time and was planning to comment only on the State of the Union speech "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 statement said.

"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 statement said.

In his statement, NY1 Political Director Bob Hardt said, "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."

Original headline: Rep threatens to toss reporter over House balcony after SOTU

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