Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm apologized Wednesdayfor threatening NY1 reporter Michael Scotto on camera after the president’s State of the Union on Tuesday night.
“I shouldn’t have allowed my emotions to get the better of me and lose my cool,” Grimm said in a statement. “I have apologized to Michael Scotto, which he graciously accepted, and will be scheduling a lunch soon.”
Grimm, who also represents parts of southern Brooklyn, lashed out at Scotto when asked about a federal investigation into his 2010 campaign fundraising.
“Let me be clear to you, if you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this —-ing balcony,” Grimm told Scotto as the camera rolled.
“I’ll break you in half,” he added.
Scotto confirmed via Twitter Wednesdaythat he had indeed accepted the Congressman’s apology. “@repmichaelgrimm called to apologize. He said he ‘overreacted.’ I accepted his apology,” Scotto tweeted.
But not everyone was as forgiving. Brooklyn Councilman Domenic Recchia, the Democratic challenger for Grimm’s district, released a statement Wednesday, calling Grimm’s actions “disgraceful” and “completely unacceptable.” Speaking with reporters Wednesdaymorning, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the confrontation was “completely inappropriate.”
“You don’t threaten reporters physically. It was a physical threat. It’s unacceptable,” he said, adding, “I would hope that the House leadership says very strongly this is unacceptable behavior.”
Taking things a step further, the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington Wednesdayfiled a complaint against Grimm with the Office of Congressional Ethics, citing “conduct that reflects discreditably upon the House.”
(With Matthew Chayes)