US: Congressman Threatens TV Reporter With Violence

Posted January 30th, 2014 at 4:56 pm (UTC+0)
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A U.S. Congressman under investigation for alleged campaign fundraising improprieties this week threatened to kill a New York reporter who questioned him about his finances.

The incident took place at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Tuesday night, following President Barack Obama’s annual State of the Union address.  As the YouTube video segment (above) shows, NY1 News reporter Michael Scotto attempted to ask Representative Michael Grimm (R-NY) about alleged finance improprieties.

NY1 provides a transcript of the exchange which took place after Grimm refused to answer the question:

“And just finally before we let you go, we haven’t had a chance to talk about some of the–” Scotto said.

“–I’m not speaking to you off-topic, this is only about the president,” Grimm said, cutting Scotto off, and he walked off camera.

“So Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances,” Scotto said to the camera.

Grimm walked away and then returned with a warning for the reporter.

Grimm: “Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this [expletive deleted] balcony.”

Scotto: “Why? I just wanted to ask you…”

[[cross talk]]

Grimm: “If you ever do that to me again…”

Scotto: “Why? Why? It’s a valid question.”

[[cross talk]]

Grimm: “No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”

Grimm later issued an apology for the incident.  I was wrong,” Grimm said in the statement. “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.

Grimm has been the subject of a House Ethics committee investigation since November, 2012, and was under FBI investigation prior to that over allegations that he sought higher campaign donations in his 2010 run for Congress that exceeded finance limits, that he illegally accepted money from foreign donors, and filed inaccurate Federal Election Commission reports. 
Cecily Hilleary
Cecily began her reporting career in the 1990s, covering US Middle East policy for an English-language network in the UAE. She has lived and/or worked in the Middle East, North Africa and Gulf, consulting and producing for several regional radio and television networks and production houses, including MBC, Al-Arabiya, the former Emirates Media Incorporated and Al-Ikhbaria. She brings to VOA a keen understanding of global social, cultural and political issues.

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About rePRESSEDed

VOA reporter Cecily Hilleary monitors the state of free expression and free speech around the world.



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