President Trump on Wednesday condemned the “brutal assault” on members of Congress and their aides at a baseball practice outside Washington, offering prayers for the victims’ “swift recovery” and praising the officers who intervened for their “heroism.”
“Many lives would have been lost if not for the heroic actions of the two Capitol Police officers who took down the gunman despite sustaining gunshot wounds,” Trump said.
During a brief statement at the White House, the president confirmed that the shooter has died from his injuries. He said House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who was shot in the hip, is in stable condition, though the lawmaker's office later said he remains in critical condition. Two officers and a current and former aide were also injured.
Trump called Scalise a “friend” and “fighter” who “will recover from this assault.”
“America is praying for you, and America is praying for all of the victims of this terrible shooting,” Trump said, adding he has spoken with the congressman’s wife. Scalise has since come out of surgery.
Lawmakers, in the wake of the shooting, have called for a ratcheting down of political rhetoric. Trump, in his remarks, stressed that all those who serve in Washington do so for love of country.
“We can all agree that we are blessed to be Americans,” Trump said.
Trump canceled public events on Wednesday after the shooting. He earlier said Scalise was “badly injured” but would “fully recover.”
In a written statement, Trump said he and Vice President Pence were “monitoring developments closely.”
“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of Congress, their staffs, Capitol Police, first responders, and all others affected,” he said.