Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ark.) fired off a string of tweets about the possible shooting at the U.S. Capitol building earlier Thursday afternoon, with one tweet appearing to blame the incident on President Barack Obama’s and other Democrats’ “violent rhetoric.”
Here are the tweets (screenshot via Buzzfeed):
While many assumed the tweet had been scheduled in advance, Griffin has since issued a statement saying he “tweeted out of emotion.” He also called the incident “an act of terrorism.”
Here’s Griffin’s full statement:
The shooting today is a terrible and inexcusable tragedy and an act of terrorism. No one but the shooter is to blame. I tweeted out of emotion but agree that the timing was not helpful.
He also explained his tweet in a reply to “Young Guac.”
Hours before the Capitol incident, Griffin had tweeted about the possibility of Democrats’ “violent language” resulting in “real violence”:
Is violent Democrat language resulting in real violence? Dems said “yes” previously. Just saying. .
— Tim Griffin (@TimGriffinAR2) October 3, 2013
Police believe Thursday’s incident was isolated and say they have no information that it’s related to terrorism.
UPDATE: Griffin’s press office has sent this expanded statement to Business Insider: “The victims and their families are in my thoughts and prayers. The shooting today is a terrible and inexcusable tragedy and an act of terrorism. No one but the shooter is to blame.
We are still processing information about this shooting, but as I have been saying for days, we all need to choose our words wisely because violent rhetoric only coarsens our culture, creates an atmosphere of incivility and is not helpful. I tweeted out of emotion but agree that the timing was not helpful.”
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