Trump speaks on congressional baseball shooting: ‘We are strongest when we are unified’

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Donald Trump.
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Screenshot/White House

President Donald Trump announced Wednesday afternoon that the gunman who shot Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and at least four others had died.

That gunman, whom law enforcement officials suspected to be 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois, shot Scalise, the House majority whip, and several others at a baseball practice for the annual congressional baseball game earlier Wednesday in Alexandria, Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC.

Scalise is currently in stable condition at MedStar Washington Hospital after being shot in the hip. Police fired multiple shots at the gunman, whose motivation was not yet confirmed.

In his White House statement, Trump praised Scalise as a “friend,” a “patriot” and a “fighter,” saying that he will make a full recovery and that Washington DC, the country, and the world was praying for him.

Trump also praised the police officers who were wounded at the scene.

“Many lives would have been lost without the heroic actions of the two Capitol Police officers, who took down the gunman despite sustaining gunshot wounds during a very, very brutal assault,” Trump said. “Melania and I are grateful for their heroism and praying for the swift recovery of all victims.”

He added that the “sacrifice” of the police “makes democracy possible.”

“Everyone on that field is a public servant,” Trump said. “Our courageous police, our congressional aides, who work so tirelessly behind the scenes with enormous devotion, and our dedicated members of Congress who represent our people. We may have our differences, but we do well in times like these to remember that everyone who serves in our nation’s capitol is here because, above all, they love our country.”

“We are strongest when we are unified,” he added. “We may have our differences, but we do well in times like this.”

Watch Trump’s full statement: