The Worst-Timed Tweet in the Aftermath of the Capitol Hill Shooting

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 3 2013 3:29 PM

Congressman Tweets About Democrats' "Violent Rhetoric" After Capitol Hill Shooting, Then Deletes It

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"D'oh!"

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

The details of this afternoon's shooting outside the U.S. Capitol are still developing. Lawmakers and staff were told to shelter in place after shots rang out outside the Capitol, and one sheltered lawmaker took the opportunity to rag on Democrats' "violent rhetoric" during the government shutdown. On his personal account, Arkansas Rep. Tim Griffin tweeted this news about the shooting:

Then, one minute later, he tweeted this:

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You may notice that's a screenshot instead of an embedded tweet—that's because Griffin has since deleted it. He could have written it off as a poorly-timed, pre-scheduled tweet, but instead went on to defend his comments to one user who confronted him:

After 45 minutes of less-than-supportive Twitter reactions, Griffin issued this semi-apology without really admitting to using an emergency to take political pot shots: "The shooting today is a terrible and inexcusable tragedy and an act of terroism. No one but the shooter is to blame. I tweeted out of emotion but agree that the timing was not helpful."

Update, 3:55 p.m.: In a press conference, Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine said the shooting was an "isolated incident" and not an act of terror.

Emma Roller is a Slate editorial assistant. Follow her on Twitter.

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