GOP Congressman Michael Grimm apologizes to reporter after threatening to “break him in half”

GOP Congressman Michael Grimm apologizes to reporter after threatening to “break him in half”
Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm

Last night, after President Obama’s State of the Union address, NY1 reporter Michael Scotto interviewed Staten Island Republican Congressman Michael Grimm to get his response to the address.

Scotto followed up with questions regarding an ongoing federal investigation into Grimm’s campaign contributions. The congressman quickly said he wasn’t going to speak “off-topic” and departed.

Scotto reported back to the studio, in a live shot, that Grimm “does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances.” After Scotto’s live shot was completed, Grimm approached him and threatened to “throw [him] off this f—— balcony” and “break you in half. Like a boy.” Transcript of the exchange:

GRIMM: “Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this fucking 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.

GRIMM: No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.

As the heated moment began to dominate the twitterverse into the evening, Grimm released a non-apology saying the reporter had taken a disrespectful “cheap shot” that prompted him to become “annoyed:”

“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. 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.”

Today, Grimm has issued an apology to Scotto.  Grimm also said that he and Scotto would be going out to lunch soon.

“I was wrong,” Grimm said in the statement. “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.”

Scotto later tweeted that he accepted Grimm’s apology.

This is probably a good example of “how NOT to draw more attention to a ongoing  federal investigation.