Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm has apologized to NY1 political reporter Michael Scotto a day after physically threatening him at the conclusion of an interview in the Capitol Rotunda following the president's State of the Union address. (Video of the interview can be seen at the bottom of the article.) Washington bureau reporter Geoff Bennett filed the following report for NY1.
After initially saying he did nothing wrong, Republican Rep. Michael Grimm picked up the phone and apologized Wednesday to NY1 Washington bureau reporter Michael Scotto.
"I apologized. I called Michael Scotto. He was very gracious and accepted my apology," Grimm said. "We're going to have lunch sometime next week and just make sure this is all behind us.
Grimm's Wednesday morning apology came after he first characterized Scotto's question about his campaign donations as a "disrespectful" cheap shot.
Grimm blamed his behavior on Hurricane Sandy, saying that issues surrounding the storm weighed on him, and that they contributed to his outburst.
"It is a lot of pressure to deliver because I want my constituents to know I do have their back," Grimm said. "But the bottom line is, this was an unfortunate incident that shouldn't have happened, and I'm sure my Italian mother is going to be yelling at me, saying, 'You aren't raised that way,' and she's right."
Grimm's office turned down our request for a one-on-one interview. He's trying to quickly move on from Tuesday night's incident, much like House Republican leadership. On Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner, in a written statement, would only say that Grimm's apology was appropriate.
On Wednesday, a Washington-based government watchdog group filed an ethics complaint against Grimm, saying he violated a House rule that requires members to conduct themselves "at all times in a manner that reflects creditably on the House."
"If the kitchen's too hot, get the heck on out," said Rep. Charles Rangel, whose district covers parts of Manhattan and the Bronx.
Rangel, who endured a two-year House ethics investigation that led to a censure, said that Grimm should have been prepared for tough questions.
"I do know from personal experience, all a reporter has to find out is that there is an investigation, and you can bet your life you're going to hear a lot about it. So it comes with the job. It comes with the profession, and you really got to take it," Rangel said. "We give a lot out. We got to take it when reporters give it back to us."
TWC News: Rep. Grimm Apologizes to NY1 Reporter for On-Camera Threat
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