UPDATE: Rep. Michael Grimm Physically Threatens Time Warner Cable News Reporter
UPDATE: Rep. Michael Grimm has called Time Warner Cable News/NY1 reporter Michael Scotto to apologize for last night’s incident.
Scotto tells us that he has accepted the apology from Grimm, who said he “overreacted.”
The original blog post from last night is below:
After President Obama’s State of the Union Address concluded this evening, Time Warner Cable News/NY1 reporter Michael Scotto was getting post-speech analysis from Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm when things got ugly.
After a discussion about the president’s speech, Scotto tried to ask Grimm about a federal ethics probe into the congressman’s campaign funding. Earlier this month, one of Grimm’s campaign fundraisers was arrested in a scheme that allegedly brought in funding from straw donors. The investigation into this is ongoing.
But Grimm refused to address this line of questioning.
“I am not talking about anything off-topic. This is only about the president,” said Grimm, who then walked away from Scotto.
But it didn’t end there. After telling viewers the question he had planned to ask, Scotto passed coverage back to the NY1 anchors in the studio. Grimm then returned to Scotto, approaching him aggressivly and forcing him out of camera view.
This was the exchange that ensued, all caught on camera:
SCOTTO: “And just finally before we let you go, we haven’t had a chance to talk about some of the…”
GRIMM: “I’m not speaking to you off-topic, this is only about the president,”
*Grimm walks away*
SCOTTO: “So Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances, Back to you”
SCOTTO: “What? I just wanted to ask you…”
Grimm: “Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this balcony”
Scotto: “Why, 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.”
Later in the evening, Grimm released a statement:
“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.”
NY1 Political Director Bob Hardt also released a statement:
“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.”
Of course, we will continue to follow this story as it develops. Keep an eye on the blog, and on Capital Tonight at 8pm and 11:30pm for updates.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Bryan Terry on January 29, 2014 at 12:20 am, and is filed under Congress. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|