GOP Congressman Is Not Sorry For Threatening Reporter, Says He Expects Respect

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) made no apologies for threatening a television reporter after the State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Far from it, in fact. Grimm said in a statement late Tuesday that he aggressively confronted NY1’s Michael Scotto because he was “extremely annoyed” by the reporter’s question.

Moreover, Grimm said he expects a “certain level of professionalism and respect” from reporters and that such skirmishes between lawmakers and journalists are typical.

“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,” Grimm said in the statement (posted below).

Scotto tried to pose a question about allegations regarding Grimm’s campaign finances, but the Republican had none of it.

“I’m not speaking to you off-topic, this is only about the President,” Grimm said before storming off camera.

Scotto explained Grimm’s refusal to answer the question before ending the segment. Then, with the camera still rolling, Grimm turned belligerent.

“Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this fucking balcony,” Grimm said as he moved menacingly toward Scotto.

Scotto protested that it was a “valid question,” leading to some inaudible crosstalk. Grimm then levied another threat.

“No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy,” Grimm said.

NY1 has video of the incident, replete with subtitles and audio. It can be viewed here.

NY1 political director Bob Hardt is demanding an apology from Grimm.

Grimm’s 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.”

Update: Grimm apologizes!


Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at