The “tone” set by Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderObamas discuss pandemic, voting, anxiety and community in new podcast Joy Reid debut delivers 2.6 million viewers for MSNBC The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Facebook — Republicans rejigger summer convention plans MORE and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) “incites crazy people,” but the shooter alone is to blame for the killing of two New York City police officers, Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamYates spars with GOP at testy hearing Trump knocks Sally Yates ahead of congressional testimony Republicans uncomfortably playing defense MORE (R-S.C.) argued Sunday.

“I blame the shooter and nobody else,” Graham told CBS’s “Face the Nation” when asked about a tweet from former New York Gov. George Pataki (R) calling the deaths the “predictable outcome of divisive anti-cop rhetoric” from de Blasio and Holder.

“I think the mayor of New York has probably undercut his cops and the attorney general in trying to walk a fine line,” Graham continued. “What happened in Missouri, I understand why the cop had to defend himself. When you see the video in New York — did that man really have to die? But the tone they’re setting around the rhetoric regarding the cops incites crazy people, but I blame the shooter.”


Shooting suspect Ismaaiyl Brinsley reportedly posted messages to his Instagram account shortly before the killings intimating they were revenge for he deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in Staten Island, two unarmed black men who were killed in confrontations with white police officers. In both cases, grand juries declined to bring charges, sparking protests across the country.

Pataki and others, including Pat Lynch, the president of the largest police union in New York City, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, have criticized Democratic politicians in the wake of the cop killings.

"There's blood on many hands tonight. That blood on the hands starts at City Hall in the Office of the Mayor,” Lynch said Saturday.

In a statement Saturday, President Obama “unconditionally” condemned the attack and called for calm.

“Tonight, I ask people to reject violence and words that harm, and turn to words that heal — prayer, patient dialogue, and sympathy for the friends and family of the fallen,” Obama said.