Wanna see a thug in action?
New York Rep. Michael Grimm showed exactly what it means to be a real thug.
Death threats? Well technically it was a threat to throw a man over a balcony. But I’m sure the survival rate is slim. Check.
Break your back? Check.
But the thing is, Grimm wasn’t talking to another thug on the streets, he was being interviewed by a reporter after last night’s State of the Union.
Michael Scotto, a reporter for the NY1 channel, was interviewing Grimm, a rethuglican who represents Staten Island. After asking about Grimm’s reactions to President Obama’s speech, he tried to ask the congressman about allegations of campaign-finance violations involving his election in 2010.
“If you ever do that to me again, I’ll throw you off this … balcony,” Grimm can be heard saying. After a back-and-forth, Grimm added: “You’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”
As of this afternoon, according to NY1, Grimm called the reporter Wednesday morning and said that he “overreacted.” The reporter tweeted about the phone apology.
@repmichaelgrimm called to apologize. He said he “overreacted.” I accepted his apology.
— Michael Scotto (@mikescotto) January 29, 2014
Grimm also released a written apology:
I was wrong. I shouldn’t have allowed my emotions to get the better of me and lose my cool. I have apologized to Michael Scotto, which he graciously accepted, and will be scheduling a lunch soon. In the weeks and months ahead I’ll be working hard for my constituents on issues like flood insurance that is so desperately needed in my district post Sandy.
After the incident occurred last night, Grimm wasn’t exactly apologetic:
Grimm has since released a 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.
NY1 Political Director Bob Hardt also released a statement last night:
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.
So the next time someone wants to talk about what exactly a thug is, never forget that a congressman threatened to throw a reporter off a ledge, break him in half and got away with it.