Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 14, 2016

After Threatening Local Reporter, Michael Grimm Apologizes for ‘Losing His Cool’

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The morning after threatening to throw a local reporter off a balcony and “break [him] in half,” Rep. Michael G. Grimm sought to assure the Capitol Hill press corps that all was now well.

The New York Republican spoke to journalists as he left the House floor on Wednesday morning, explaining that NY 1 reporter Michael Scotto had accepted his apology and “we’re gonna go to lunch and put it all behind us.”

“There’s no excuse for it,” Grimm said, “and Michael Scotto was very gracious and he was gracious enough to accept my apology, so we put it past us and now I’ve got work to do.”

After a brief interview from the Capitol Rotunda following the president’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night, Scotto had attempted to tack on a question about the ongoing federal investigation on Grimm for alleged campaign finance fraud.

Grimm did not take kindly to the unexpected inquiry.

“Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this f—ing balcony,” Grimm said during the exchange that was captured by NY1’s rolling camera. “You’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”

The second-term lawmaker who represents Staten Island issued a statement after the fact, explaining that “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,” Grimm continued, “but insisted on taking a disrespectful and cheap shot at the end of the interview.”

“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.”

On Wednesday, Grimm attempted to justify his behavior in different terms, saying that above all else he regretted his actions.

“I’m a human being and sometime your emotions get the better of you and the bottom line, though, is it shouldn’t happen, you shouldn’t lose your cool and that’s why I apologized,” said Grimm. “When you’re wrong, you’re wrong, you have to admit it.

“My constituents know I’m extremely passionate,” Grimm continued. “In my district, people were slammed by Superstorm Sandy. I have to go home and look people in the eye who have nothing, OK? They have lost everything. … They are almost completely out of hope and you know what they expect? They expect Michael Grimm to have their back. And that’s what I’m going for. I’m the guy that’s gonna stand up for those constituents, I’m gonna be relentless, and I’m very passionate about it. And unfortunately when you’re that type of person that has a lot of passion your emotions can get the better of you.”

Grimm also added that he was frustrated after a “long day” and he was “out of breath” from running to meet Scotto in the Rotunda. Michael Steel, a spokesman for Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, said, “Rep. Grimm has apologized, and the speaker believes that was appropriate.”

The Republican could still face repercussions for his actions. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and democratic PACs are already beginning to hammer Grimm over the incident, and the Ethics Committee might also take notice. There is also the question of whether he committed a crime in threatening someone with bodily harm.

  • Layla

    Put it past us? You are a THUG, Mr. Grimm. A THUG OF THE WORST kind. There IS no excuse for the way you behaved.

    • Fred Garvin

      You’re right–he should have used an executive order to order the CIA to use a drone to kill the reporter.

  • Santiago Alemedia

    Grimm is passionate and talks of breaking someone in half like a boy. Hmmmmm. I’d keep an eye on this dude–and keep your boys away from him, too.

  • FL_BigFoot

    What is wrong with throwing a reporter of a balcony?…or a lawyer for that matter.

    • Aaron Smith

      when a politician does it that is the problem – they are the ones that should just jump off the balcony and not waste someones time pushing them…

  • Aaron Smith

    who cares – no way to apologize for something like this. I have never seen a politician in america act like this – perhaps he is taking cues from Kim Jong Un… I hope he is not only unseated but beaten to a meaty pulp by the wrong person he confronts that doesn’t take his threat as a verbal statement – he is the worst scum of the earth and should be expelled for saying such things to a free press, regardless of what they ask.

  • Aaron Smith

    he absolutely threatened him and also made a hate speech statement by telling the reporter he wasn’t man enough. He didn’t even take responsiblity in his statements – he was full of excuses but did not apologize for threatening the reporters life and liberty. He is the worst kind of politician – why would anyone vote for this garbage pale kid.

  • David S. McQueen

    Politicians have come to think of themselves as celebrities and deserving of special treatment. One of these days, Rep. Grimm is going to mouth off to the wrong guy and then we’ll see who gets thrown off the balcony.

  • A.F. Meincke

    Rep. is a prime example of what is wrong with America. He’s a person who bullies others. like women and others who don’t have their way. A real jerk and he should have been charged by law enforcement for his actions.

  • ivan

    Ok, he is a republican and can do whatever . On top of that he is a politician, and they all think they are better than the voters.

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