Congressman Threatens To Break Reporter In Half

A US congressman has been caught on camera threatening to throw a reporter off a balcony and "break him in half".

New York Representative Michael Grimm was asked by NY1 News' Michael Scotto about his thoughts on President Obama's State of the Union address.

The Republican then took great exception to being questioned about allegations surrounding his campaign finances.

Mr Scotto said: "And just finally before we let you go, since we have you here: We haven't had a chance to kind of talk about some of the..."

"I'm not speaking about anything that's off-topic," Mr Grimm interrupted.

"This is only about the president's speech tonight. Thank you."

He then walks away, and Mr Scotto says: "So Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances.

"We wanted to get him on camera on that but he, as you saw, refused to talk about that. Back to you."

With the camera still rolling, Mr Scotto suddenly looks to his left and Mr Grimm, again on-camera, but off-mic, can be heard speaking to Mr Scotto in a low voice.

Mr Grimm said: "Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I'll throw you off this f*****g balcony."

"Why?" Scotto said. "I just wanted to ask you..."

Mr Grimm is heard again saying, "If you ever do that to me again..."

"Why? Why?" Scotto asks. "It's a valid question."

As the argument continues, Mr Grimm says: "No, no, you're not man enough, you're not man enough. I'll break you in half. Like a boy." Mr Grimm then walked away.

NY1 said Mr Grimm released a statement following the incident saying: "I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favour 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 favour.

"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."

As footage of the threat spread around the world, NY1 reported that Mr Grimm phoned Scotto on Wednesday to apologise, telling the reporter he "overreacted".

"I accepted his apology and I think we're going to move on from here," Scotto said.

Prior to the apology, NY1 political director Bob Hardt released a statement, saying: "It is extremely disturbing when anyone threatens one of our reporters - let alone a US congressman ... This behaviour is unacceptable."

Mr Grimm - a former FBI agent and US Marine - has been the subject of a federal investigation involving campaign finances.

Earlier this month, the FBI arrested Texas-based fundraiser Diana Durand on charges that she illegally donated more than $10,000 to the congressman's 2010 campaign.

Federal law caps donations at $4,800.

Mr Grimm has not been charged with any wrongdoing in the investigation.

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