Rep. Michael Grimm of Staten Island (R-NY), a U.S. Marine, one-time FBI agent and Tea Party darling, had some explaining to do after he threatened a reporter who was getting feedback following the State of the Union address Tuesday night.
After discussing President Obama's State of the Union address, reporter Michael Scotto tried to steer Rep. Grimm in another direction. Grimm, who wasn't having any of it, declined and walked away. A moment later, however, he was back, hulking over the reporter while dishing out threats and insults. Check out video of the incident linked below.
Rep. Michael Grimm Threatens NY1 Reporter, Then Calls to Apologize (Video)
Having already gotten reaction on the State of the Union (which most Republicans who responded in the media seemed to find inadequate and misguided), Michael Scotto, a political reporter for NY1, was gearing up to ask Grimm about a federal investigation into Grimm's allegedly shady campaign fundraising practices.
Scotto told the camera he wanted to delve into the matter with the Republican Representative from NY but, as viewers could see, the congressman had refused. As Scotto wrapped his segment, Rep. Grimm returned and got in Scotto's personal space. Viewers could see Scotto demure, lowering his head and avoiding eye contact, likely hoping to diffuse the situation. For a moment, it looked like Grimm wanted to get physical and verbally threatened to do so.
"Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again, I'll throw you off this f-----g balcony," Rep. Grimm seethed at the NY1 reporter. ""You're not man enough, you're not man enough. I'll break you in half. Like a boy." Scotto kept asking, "Why?" and saying he just wanted to ask a question.
In Grimm's statement later in the night, the congressman said he was "extremely annoyed" by the "disrespectful" turn the interview had taken. "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."
Despite a seeming lack of remorse in his statement for his caught-on-camera threats and menacing behavior, Rep. Grimm apparently called Scotto late Tuesday or early Wednesday to apologize. Scotto updated social media followers of the development via Twitter. "Michael Scotto (@mikescotto): @repmichaelgrimm called to apologize. He said he 'overreacted.' I accepted his apology."
As for the State of the Union address itself, Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson was in attendance (and caused quite the photo frenzy in the chamber, mostly among the GOP set) and celebrity politico Bill Maher live-tweeted the event for Huffington Post with his familiar, somewhat cynical slant on the state of the nation and Obama's many promises.