A Republican representative from Staten Island “physically threatened” a local reporter after Tuesday’s State of the Union address, according to the news station.
The reporter, from New York City’s local NY-1, attempted to ask Rep. Michael Grimm about allegations of campaign finance misconduct.
Michael Scotto, a former MSNBC producer, turns to the camera and reports that Grimm “does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances, we wanted to get him on camera talking about that, but he as you saw refused to talk about that.”
Grimm then appears back on camera, berating the reporter and getting in his face.
“Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this f—— balcony,” Grimm tells the reporter, according to a transcript released by the station.
The reporter persists, telling him “it’s 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 says.
On Wednesday, as the media storm played out, Grimm reached out to Scotto to apologize. He also released an apology, which was more conciliatory than his statement immediately following the incident.
“I was wrong. I shouldn’t have allowed my emotions to get the better of me and lose my cool,” Grimm said. “I have apologized to Michael Scotto, which he graciously accepted, and will be scheduling a lunch soon.”
Shortly after the confrontation, Grimm released a statement saying, “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.”
Scotto tweeted confirmation of Grimm’s apology on Wednesday.
Grimm was once seen as a rising GOP star. After serving in the Persian Gulf as a Marine, he spent eleven years as an agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation—the very organization that is now investigating his campaign finances.
The handsome New Yorker—whose charisma helped launch him from political obscurity to Congress in 2010—has worked to use his charm to rise above the fray of an investigation.
“It is extremely disturbing when anyone threatens one of our reporters – let alone a U.S. Congressman,” NY1’s political director, Bob Hardt, said in a statement. “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.”
Scotto appeared on Morning Joe on Wednesday to respond. Watch below.