Journalists and people in politics have slammed Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) for physically threatening a NY1 News reporter after the State of the Union address Tuesday night.
The Democratic National Committee’s communications director, Mo Elleithee, commented on the incident on Twitter.
A staffer at MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow” show said the two-term congressman will now be famous because of the altercation.
Rep. Michael Grimm is about to become much more well-known http://t.co/ZVJ1Ym7mCe— WillAtWork (@WillAtWork) January 29, 2014
After President Obama’s address, reporter Michael Scotto asked Grimm in an interview to comment on new revelations that have surfaced in the ethics investigation into Grimm’s campaign finances.
Grimm walked away, and Scotto said on-camera that Grimm refused to respond to the latest allegations.
With the camera still rolling, Grimm returned into the shot and aggressively confronted Scotto.
One reporter joked Grimm had returned for another reason.
Based on the look on this reporter's face, I'm guessing Michael Grimm came back to compliment him on his tie http://t.co/mpHQqfGFoR— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) January 29, 2014
"Let me be clear to you: If you ever do that to me again, I'll throw you off this f***ing balcony," Grimm said to Scotto.
Scotto replied that he had asked a “valid question,” but the congressman said “I’ll break you in half.”
best part of this Michael Grimm video is when he does the “hope this thing isn’t on” look into the camera https://t.co/o9MpibnkXe— E McMorris-Santoro (@EvanMcSan) January 29, 2014
In a statement released afterward, Grimm said he was "extremely annoyed" with Scotto because he was in a rush and Scotto "insisted on taking a disrespectful and cheap shot at the end of the interview, because I did not have time to speak off-topic."
National Journal’s Ron Fournier tweeted the congressman may need help.
Anybody got a recommendation for angry management classes? Asking for a congressman http://t.co/fcypgcUKCB— Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier) January 29, 2014
Republican Ari Fleischer, White House press secretary during the George W. Bush administration, tweeted that Grimm did not make a smart move.
Rep. Grimm has now made it impossible for reporters NOT to ask him about his campaign finance problems. Not a smart move.— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) January 29, 2014
The press secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee noted that Grimm once waved a gun around in a New York City nightclub when he worked for the FBI.
Remember, Grimm is the one who waved a gun around in a crowded nightclub http://t.co/YAppNztIav— Josh Schwerin (@JoshSchwerin) January 29, 2014
One New York reporter said Mayor Bill de Blasio previously called on the NYPD to release records from that investigation.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington tweeted that while Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) delivered the Tea Party response to Obama’s address, Grimm delivered the anger management response.
Mike Lee gave the Tea Party response to the State of the Union, Mike Grimm gave the Anger Management response: http://t.co/1itJgNvgej— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) January 29, 2014
Scotto said on Wednesday morning that he wouldn’t pursue the case any further because the video of the altercation speaks for itself.
Grace Rauh, another NY1 News political reporter, tweeted Wednesday that de Blasio is calling on House leadership to denounce Grimm’s “unacceptable”behavior.
De Blasio is calling on House leadership to denounce Rep. Grimm's threats to NY1 reporter Michael Scotto. Says it is unacceptable behavior.— Grace Rauh (@gracerauh) January 29, 2014