- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 29, 2014

An obviously angry Rep. Michael G. Grimm told a reporter who was interviewing him in the Capitol that if he continued to stray off topic, he’d thrown him over the railing.

Fox News reported the irked congressman from New York made the statements in the hours after President Obama delivered his State of the Union address.

The confrontation began after Michael Scotto, who works for NY1, asked Mr. Grimm to address allegations about campaign finance abuse, The New York Post reported. The encounter was captured on video and Mr. Grimm at one point told the reporter: “I’ll break you in half.”

Late Tuesday, Mr. Grimm put out a statement — and was unapologetic: “I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favor 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 favor. 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.”

The campaign finance issue involves Diana K. Durand, a fundraiser for Mr. Grimm. Just a few weeks ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested her, accusing her of illegally sending more than $10,000 to Mr. Grimm’s campaign. Meanwhile, federal agents are looking at Mr. Grimm, too, and investigating whether he illegally solicited money from overseas sources.

The political director of NY1 called for Mr. Grimm to apologize and said his behavior was “extremely disturbing,” The New York Times reported.