Republican Congressman Michael Grimm, who once physically threatened a reporter during an on-air interview, is now accusing the media of trying to destroy his image and thwart his bid for reelection.
“There’s no question: I’ve been vilified by the press since the day I got here,” Mr. Grimm told Politico Tuesday. “From the very beginning they had to figure out how to get rid of this guy.”
Federal prosecutors recently indicted Mr. Grimm, accusing the former Marine and FBI agent of mail and wire fraud, hiring illegal immigrants and perjury. The indictment alleges that Grimm withheld nearly $1 million in sales and wages and employed illegal immigrants at his Manhattan fast-food restaurant which he operated from 2007 to 2010.
The indictment has dried up much of his campaign funding. GOP leaders including Speaker John Boehner have refused to back his reelection in Mr. Grimm’s very competitive Staten Island congressional district. Mr. Grimm’s lone full-time political aide departed last week as well.
Still, Mr. Grimm stands behind his record of service to his constituents.
“What I’m guilty of is trying the hardest and giving 100 percent of myself and putting my heart and soul into representing the people of Staten Island and Brooklyn,” Mr. Grimm said, adding, constituents “are behind me now more than ever, because I get results.”