Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) is making national headlines on Wednesday after he physically threatened a television reporter from NY1 News, telling journalist Michael Scotto that he would "break him in half" and "throw [him] of this fucking balcony" after getting angry when asked a question he said was not up for discussion.
Grimm was appearing with Scotto in the Capitol Rotunda immediately following the State of the Union when the incident occurred.
Watch the video:
And here's the transcript, courtesy of NY1:
Grimm: "Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I'll throw you off this f-----g 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." [[cross talk]]
Grimm: "No, no, you're not man enough, you're not man enough. I'll break you in half. Like a boy."
Later, Congressman Grimm issued a statement, trying to explain what happened:
"I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favor by rushing to do their interview in lieu of several other requests...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 certain I won't be the last."
In turn, NY1 Political Director Bob Hardt released a statement of his own:
"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."
Reporting on the episode for Mother Jones magazine, reporter Ben Dreyfuss offered this tongue-in-cheek advice for Grimm:
1) Don't threaten reporters with physical violence.
2) If you do threaten reporters with physical violence, don't do it when the reporters' camera crew is still filming B roll. You'll look pretty unhinged!
Meanwhile, on Twitter, Grimm was being met with sharp rebuke: