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Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) threatens reporter: ‘I’ll break you in half’

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) got into an altercation with a reporter following Tuesday's State of the Union address, during which Grimm threatened to throw the reporter over a balcony.

Grimm initially defended his behavior, but by late Wednesday morning he apologized.

Video from NY1 shows the Staten Island congressman ending an interview with the network's reporter after the reporter attempted to ask him about allegations of campaign finance wrongdoing.

Shortly thereafter, Grimm returns and gets in the reporter's face, while still on camera.

"Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I'll throw you off this f***ing balcony," Grimm says.

Grimm adds: "You're not man enough, you're not man enough. I'll break you in half. Like a boy."

Grimm initially responded with this statement, according to NY1: "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."

Late Wednesday morning, the reporter, Michael Scotto, said Grimm phoned him to apologize.

A fundraiser for Grimm's campaign was recently arrested on charges of funneling $10,000 to his election bid. Federal investigators are also looking into whether Grimm illegally solicited donations from foreign donors.

Grimm's temper isn't news to those who cover him or his constituents. The former FBI agent, who was first elected in 2010, is known for his brashness.

Scott said on CNN on Wednesday morning that he didn't take Grimm's threat literally.

“I’m not taking it personal," Scotto said. "I just think he was angry by the fact that I asked that question and I think he was even more angry by the fact that I kind of explained to viewers why he was not going to answer that question.”

Read more:

Grimm: 'When you're wrong, you're wrong'

The Fix: Five things Michael Grimm did wrong Tuesday night

Fact Checker: How accurate was President Obama's speech?

 

Originally posted at 12:27 a.m. Updated at 11:35 a.m.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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