Rep. Alan Grayson, a Democratic Senate candidate in Florida, on Tuesday said he hoped authorities would place a Politico reporter under arrest after the journalist peppered him with questions about domestic-abuse allegations as he left a Politico event.
“You’re blocking me from leaving,” Grayson told Edward-Isaac Dovere, a senior White House reporter.
Footage showed Dovere walking ahead of the Florida congressman as he made his way toward an elevator bank.
“You’re getting in my way! You’re getting in my way, my friend!” Grayson exclaimed as the reporter continued to question him. “You’re assaulting a member of Congress!”
Despite Grayson’s claim, video published by Politico appeared to show Grayson push the reporter – not vice versa.
Dovere continued to press the Democratic congressman on a report published by Politico on Tuesday that indicated his wife repeatedly went to authorities and accused him of domestic abuse over two decades. Specifically, the reporter noted that Grayson said he was “disgusted” in 2012 when he claimed the media didn’t adequately address allegations of domestic abuse against his political opponent.
“You said it was hypocritical in 2012 for the media not to cover these allegations about your opponent, and now you say it’s ridiculous not to talk about yours. How is that not hypocritical?” Dovere asked.
“Do you seriously think that this is a proper way to conduct an interview?” Grayson asked.
Dovere reminded him that he was at a Politico event and is a public official.
“That gives you the right to push me?” Grayson said.
“You pushed me, sir,” Dovere shot back.
Grayson, who is competing with Rep. Patrick Murphy in Florida’s Democratic Senate primary race, continued to claim that Dovere was the one who assaulted him.
“So you’re going to accuse a reporter of assaulting you for asking a question?” Dovere asked.
“No, not for asking a question – for getting in my face and being a fool and pushing me as I was trying to leave this event,” Grayson said.
He added: “You know, I’m hoping that someone comes here and arrests you right now.”
Reached by email, Tina Dupuy, a spokesperson for Grayson, said the congressman had no comment on the incident.
Dovere reiterated to Business Insider in a statement that the congressman “attended a public event.”
“He’s a public official appearing at a public event,” he said. “I attempted to ask him questions about the serious allegations of domestic abuse by his ex-wife.”