WASHINGTON -- A reporter who was physically threatened by a member of
Michael Scotto, a reporter for the NY1 channel, was interviewing Rep.
Grimm refused to answer, walked away, and then, as the camera continued to record the scene, returned to confront the reporter.
"If you ever do that to me again, I'll throw you off this ... balcony," Grimm can be heard saying, as he stood next to a railing. After a back-and-forth, Grimm added: "You're not man enough. I'll break you in half. Like a boy."
Videotape of the incident went viral Tuesday night.
In an interview Wednesday on
"He seemed angrier than I had ever seen a politician talk to a reporter about a question that he or she didn't like," he said. "I think the tape speaks for itself, so I'm just going to leave it as is."
"I'm used to people giving me push-back for questions. I was not used to something like that," Scotto said.
In a statement issued quickly after the video of the confrontation went viral, Grimm, a former
"I verbally took the reporter to task and told him off, because I expect a certain level of professionalism and respect," Grimm said in the statement. "I doubt that I am the first member of Congress to tell off a reporter, and I'm sure I won't be the last."
[Updated, 8:41 a.m. PST Jan. 29: On Wednesday, NY1 reported that Grimm had called to apologize for his conduct, saying he "overreacted."
Scotto said he accepted Grimm's apology and that he believed it was sincere.]
The New York Daily News raised questions last week about whether Grimm's campaign engaged in "donor swapping" -- in which a candidate's supporters donate money to other campaigns, who in return themselves donate to the original candidate, in order to skirt limits on individual contributions.
Grimm is already the subject of a federal probe for other campaign irregularities, the paper reported.