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Rep. Michael Grimm Threatens an NY1 Reporter (NYT)
Footage showed Representative Michael G. Grimm physically threatening a reporter in the Capitol, shining a harsh light on the embattled Staten Island Republican in the hours after President Obama’s State of the Union address in Washington on Tuesday. Grimm can be heard telling Michael Scotto, a reporter for NY1, “I’ll break you in half” in footage broadcast by the network. Moments earlier, Grimm had walked away from an interview when Scotto began asking him questions about allegations of campaign finance violations. NY1 Grimm’s threats came at the end of a brief interview in which he discussed the president’s speech, calling the address “divisive.” Scotto then tried to ask the congressman about the ongoing federal investigation into his 2010 campaign fundraising: “And just finally before we let you go, we haven’t had a chance to talk about some of the…” Scotto began before Grimm cut him off. “I’m not speaking to you off-topic, this is only about the president,” said Grimm, before walking off camera. “So Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances,” Scotto said before tossing back to the station. But as the camera continued to roll, Grimm walked back up to Scotto and began speaking to him in a low voice. HuffPost Grimm explained his actions in a statement to the Huffington Post: “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.” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Scotto, who covers Capitol Hill for the New York-based news channel, referred a request for comment to NY1 political director Robert Hardt. “It is extremely disturbing when anyone threatens one of our reporters — let alone a U.S. Congressman,” Hardt told Politico in an email.