Michael Grimm, the Republican congressman who threatened a New York TV reporter by telling him, “I’ll break you in half,” and “I’ll throw you off this f****** balcony” following Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, has now apologized for his behavior.
At the same time, a former political opponent has told the political news web site Talking Points Memo that steroid use is to blame for a history of enraged outbursts by Grimm, of which the Tuesday night incident was only the latest.
Grimm, who represents a district in New York City’s Staten Island borough, was interviewed following last night’s speech by Michael Scotto, a reporter for the NY1 cable TV news station. But when Scotto attempted to ask a question about allegations of campaign finance irregularities that surfaced in recent days, Michael Grimm immediately cut off the interview and walked away.
He returned as soon as Scotto signed off — though the NY1 camera was still recording — to threaten Scotto.
After first issuing a statement attempting to justify his actions, Michael Grimm apologized Wednesday morning, New York’s Daily News reports. He also later issued a public statement expressing contrition.
“I was wrong,” Grimm said. “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.”
@repmichaelgrimm called to apologize. He said he “overreacted.” I accepted his apology.
— Michael Scotto (@mikescotto) January 29, 2014
However, a former Grimm opponent, Democrat Mike Murphy, told Talking Points Memo that Grimm has a history of angry outbursts.
“This is a total pattern of behavior with this guy,” Murphy, who lost a 2012 election to Michael Grimm, told TPM. “He’s an absolute thug, he’s like the ‘Mob Wives’ congressman.”
Murphy said that he believes that steroid use on the part of Michael Grimm and a man descrbed as his “bodyguard” named Marc Alvarez, account for the outbursts.
“These guys are wrapped so tight from the steroids that they’re on, it’s insane,” Murphy said. He added, “I have no knowledge whether or not they’re on steroids, but they just seem wound so tight it would seem that they are on something.”
He cited alleged incidents in which Grimm wielded a butter knife at a Democratic colleague during a congressional breakfast in 2012, an argument with an elderly man during Grimm’s 2010 campaign and another incident in 2011 when Alvarez used profanity in lashing out at a group of skateboarders at a political event.
Michael Grimm had no comment Murphy’s steroid allegations. In his 2012 post-election acceptance speech, Grimm referred to Murphy as “despicable,” and someone who has “disgraced himself and his family.”