The reporter who was physically threatened by Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) on Tuesday night said he’s never seen a politician flash such anger to a journalist.
NY1’s Michael Scotto tried to ask Grimm about allegations that money was illegally funneled into the congressman’s campaign. Grimm refused to answer and then stormed off camera before returning to the set, where he threatened to toss Scotto “off this fucking balcony” and break him in half.
“I was taken aback. I have never — you know, I’m used to people giving me pushback for questions but I was not used to something like that,” Scotto said during an interview Wednesday on “Morning Joe.”
“He basically came over to me, as you saw, and said that if I ever do something like that again he would throw me from the balcony and he continued to criticize, saying I really shouldn’t have asked that question without giving him notice and that he had only really agreed to talk about the State of the Union address.”
Scotto said that Grimm made no physical contact, but the Republican was seething.
“He seemed angrier than I have ever seen a politician talk to a reporter about a question that he or she didn’t like,” Scotto said. “But he did not touch me.”
Scotto said he has no intention to take any kind of legal action against Grimm.
“I think the tape speaks for itself, so I’m just going to leave it the way it is,” Scotto said.
Grimm initially offered no apology for the confrontation. In a statement, he said he was “extremely annoyed” by Scotto’s question and that he expects “a certain level of professionalism and respect” from reporters.
“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.
But Grimm eventually reached out to Scotto on Wednesday to admit that he “overreacted.” The two now plan to get lunch together.
This post has been updated.