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Rep. Michael Grimm apologizes to NY1 reporter Michael Scotto

Grimm tale: Pol backtracks after threatening reporter

The Brooklyn Paper
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Rep. Michael Grimm says he is sorry for menacing a television journalist after the President’s State of the Union address on Jan. 28, but Dems are saying he is not sorry enough — and political experts say he soon may be even sorrier.

Grimm (R–Bay Ridge) threatened to throw a NY1 reporter over the Congressional balcony, then “break him in half” after the newsman inquired about a federal investigation into the pol’s campaign finances.

“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.”

Scotto tweeted that he had accepted the apology, but it wasn’t enough for the ex-Marine and Federal Bureau of Investigation agent’s Democratic critics.

Forces seeking to unseat the congressman in this year’s election jumped on the incident, recalling the recent arrest of Grimm contributor Diana Durand for allegedly breaking federal campaign finance laws through donations to Grimm’s 2010 election effort. They also alluded to the ongoing investigation into whether the congressman’s fund-raisers strong-armed members of a Manhattan rabbi’s congregation into giving money to Grimm’s successful bid for the Staten Island–to–Gravesend seat.

“What exactly was Congressman Michael Grimm so afraid of discussing that he threatened to throw a reporter off a balcony?” demanded the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which funds deep-blue bids for the House of Representatives. “There’s an abundance of corruption, ethics and fund-raising controversies to choose from.”

And Grimm’s Democrat rival, ex-Coney Island Councilman Domenic Recchia, blasted the incumbent as a national disgrace.

“Michael Grimm’s behavior last night was disgraceful, completely unacceptable, and unfitting of a United States congressman. Using threats of physical violence to intimidate the press from doing their jobs is against everything our country — and our government — stands for, and is a shameful abuse of power,” Recchia wrote on his Facebook page. “He also owes the people of Staten Island and South Brooklyn an apology.”

Both Democrats and Republicans in the district have questioned Recchia’s viability as a candidate due to his Brooklyn roots in a district where the majority of votes are on the Rock, and because to his ties to disgraced Kings County Democratic boss Vito Lopez. Experts said that the battlefield will still be on the other side of the Narrows, but argued that Recchia may have finally found a weapon to use against Grimm on his home turf.

“It gives the Recchia team a very good negative ad, and it makes the South Shore of Staten Island less important, because more people on the North Shore might vote for Recchia because of this incident,” said leading strategist and lobbyist Hank Sheinkopf.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

John from Bay Ridge says:
Grimm is a pathetic wannabe tough guy.
Jan. 29, 2014, 3:02 pm
Roberto from Sunset Park says:
Recchia never seemed to be outraged over his pal Vito Lopez molesting teen staffers or Hynes abuse of power.
People are piling on Grimm.
Jan. 29, 2014, 3:12 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Congress needs Anthony Weiner back.
Jan. 29, 2014, 3:25 pm
Mike from Staten Island says:
Much ado over nothing
Jan. 29, 2014, 3:52 pm
Phantom from Bay Ridge says:
What a bum.
Jan. 29, 2014, 4:48 pm
The Chooch from your neighborhood next says:
Did you see that? He's gonna 'trow the guy off a faahkin' balcony. That's rich. Right out of Donny Brosco. Hey I got a better idea, why don't we fill Bay Ridge with hipsters and throw Grimm out of office. Put a nice hippy chick in his place.
Jan. 29, 2014, 6:45 pm
jay from nyc says:
the guy leaves and THEN walks back to make the threat. Its not like the reporter was running down the street after him and shoving a camera in his face, or interrupting him at a speaking event.
Grimm left and then returned to make a death threat. This is disgraceful behavior for any person, y let alone one of the highest elected offices in the country. The guy should be charged with a crime and kicked out of congress. I guess he thinks that if Putin can act like a thug, then so can he.
With clowns like this in office no wonder nothing is getting done in D.C.
Jan. 29, 2014, 7:06 pm
A Kid from The Way We Were says:
Somewhere, John H. Ray is rolling in his grave.
Jan. 29, 2014, 11:42 pm
Peter from Williamsburg says:
Let's stipulate that Grimm is a hothead who embarrassed himself but, you know what, the reporter ought to have asked him for comment on SOTU and then asked about the campaign finance allegations, which he had to know would not receive substantial comment in that setting. Grimm overreacted etc but it was cheap shot to ask him for an interview following SOTU and ask only about the allegations.
Jan. 30, 2014, 8:23 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
Peter, reporters do that all the time as a tactic for breaking past talking points and getting something more newsworthy. Trial lawyers and police interrogators use similar tactics for getting past rehearsed statements. Politicians, especially those at the national level, ought to be used to the press doing stuff like this. But Grimm not only failed to keep his poise in a momentary lapse, but he went back later and threatened the reporter. Presumably after thinking about it...? That suggests a much deeper character flaw.
Jan. 30, 2014, 9:43 am
Peter from SI says:
Nice to see Grimm react Fast & Furious!

Somebody should ask Eric Holder some FAST AND FURIOUS questions.
Jan. 30, 2014, 10:05 am
Jay from Nyc says:
No peter form williamsburg a reporter has the right to ask any question he wants under the U.S. Constitution, so I can only assume you have a problem with the U.S. Constituion. I suggedt you move to Russia where Putin decides what questions can be asked and see if you like that better. The reporter was doing an interviwer at captiol hill,in an area where the press always is, he
was not showing up at the guys house
at 2am or at his child school, he did
not chase grimm down the street or interrup him at a meal. Grimm walked away, and then came back to make the death threat. The reporter did nothing wrong and grimm is one billion percent wrong. it was not a cheap shot by the reporter, there was no set up and grimm is being investgagted by the feda for breaking the law possibly, they have already arrsested and charged one of his friends in connection with the same issues they are looking into. If grjmm does not want to do press fine, then dont but dont be in public office then For yoh and others to make excuses foe his thug behavior is almoat as bad as what Grimm himself did. Shame on you.
Jan. 30, 2014, 11:43 am
Carl from Bay Ridge says:
Grimm gives me the creeps. He has beady menacing eyes. I��Gillibrand.
Jan. 30, 2014, 4:50 pm

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