A lot of members of Congress did a lot of interviews Tuesday night in the hours following President Obama’s State of the Union address, but only one ended with a threat to break a reporter in half.
Cable news station NY1 has the whole thing on video
, too. After briefly discussing the speech, reporter Michael Scotto began to ask U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., about a campaign finance investigation that’s been going on since 2010. (Grimm has not been charged in the probe, but a member of his campaign committee has.)
Grimm said he didn’t want to discuss anything other than the president’s speech. When Scotto turned back to the camera and said the congressman didn’t want to discuss campaign finances, Grimm came back.
“Let me be clear to you: You ever do that to me again, I'll throw you off this f-----g balcony,” Grimm said, according to NY1’s transcript. He added: “No, no, you're not man enough, you're not man enough. I'll break you in half. Like a boy.”
After the interview, Grimm released a statement in which he said he was doing NY1 a “favor” by granting Scotto an interview at all:
I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favor by rushing to do their interview first in lieu of several other requests. 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. 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.
History may show he is the first to threaten to break a reporter in half, however.
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NY1’s political director, Bob Hardt, also released a statement in which he said Grimm’s behavior was “extremely disturbing.” He continued: “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.”
UPDATE: The New York Times
is reporting that Grimm has issued an apology statement.
"I was wrong," he said. "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