Republican Rep. Tim Griffin represents Arkansas' second congressional district. During Thursday's incident in Washington, D.C., which involved a police chase followed by a deadly shooting, he tweeted the following statements on his personal Twitter account:
"Gun shots outside the Capitol."
"Stop the violent rhetoric President Obama, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. #Disgusting"
Several national news outlets began criticizing Rep. Griffin for turning a tragedy into a political slam. The tweet in question has been deleted from Griffin's account, and he clarified his comments in a statement to KNWA Thursday evening.
"The victims and their families are in my thoughts and prayers. The shooting today is a terrible and inexcusable tragedy. No one but the attacker is to blame. We are still processing information about this attack, 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."