TODAY   |  January 29, 2014

Reporter: Congressman’s threat took ‘me by surprise’

NY1 reporter Michael Scotto talks to Tamron Hall about comments made to him Tuesday night by Republican Staten Island Representative Michael Grimm during an interview, in which he threatened to throw the reporter off a balcony. Grimm issued a statement saying Scotto took a “disrespectful and cheap shot.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> tamron, it would not be state of the union speech without something weird happening after or during.

>> you couldn't make this up in one of the political dramas from aaron sorkin . this was crazy, and it's the big talk on social media . basically a new york reporter was interviewing new york congressman michael grimm . at the time, this is following the state of the union . the reporter asked congressman grimm about an investigation surrounding campaign finance violations. and that's when things went in an awful direction. take a look.

>> just finally, before we let you go since we have you here, we haven't had a chance to --

>> this is only about the president. thank you.

>> all right. so congressman michael grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances.

>> let me be clear. no, you're not man enough. you're not man enough.

>> so just a short time ago, i spoke with the reporter, michael scotto and asked him what was going through his mind when the congressman told him he would break him and toss him off that balcony. take a listen.

>> you know, i was not expecting that response. i was expecting him maybe to say, i was disappointed you asked that question or something to that effect. or even when we were on camera him to maybe say this is not something i want to talk about tonight. you know, typically when i deal with congressional members here, it's a very -- on a very professional basis. so that remark did take me by surprise.

>> the understatement of the morning. i was not expecting that response. i'd say. well, speaking of responses last night, the congressman released this statement. he said the reporter knew 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. i doubt i'm the first member of congress to tell off a reporter, and i'm sure i won't be the last. obviously this is a social media fodder, guys. but the other question i posed to some people, if this was a female reporter, would people have jokes behind it? or would they see it as a more serious situation? a lot to discuss and we'll see what congressman grimm has to say later today.

>> tamron, thank you.

>> incredible.

>>> coming up, a big interview. the nfl player who left his team claiming he had