President Trump said Thursday that he hoped the shock and horror over the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who remained in critical condition at a Washington hospital, would bring unity to the painfully divided country.
Since the gunman targeted Republican lawmakers practicing for a charity baseball game Wednesday morning, wounding four people, calls for more civility and unity have come from both sides of the aisle in Congress.
“Steven in his own way may have brought some unity to our long-divided country. We’ve had a very divided country for many years,” Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House.
“I have a feeling that Steve has made a great sacrifice, but there could be some unity brought to our country. Let’s hope so,” he said.
Mr. Trump visited Mr. Scalise, Louisiana Republican, in the hospital Wednesday night.
“He’s in some trouble,” the president said. “He’s going to be OK, we hope.”
At the hospital, Mr. Trump said he also visited Crystal Griner, a Capitol Police officer assigned to protect Mr. Scalise. She was wounded in a shootout with the gunman. The gunman later died of his wounds.
Mr. Trump called her a “terrific young woman.”
He commended Ms. Griner and Capitol Police Officer David Bailey, who also was part of Mr. Scalise’s security detail, for saving so many lives at the ballfield.
“They ran right into the fire, those guns and bullets, and they saved a lot of lives,” Mr. Trump said.
He also praised the Alexandria, Virginia, first responders who rushed to the scene.