WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is made an evening visit to the hospital where a US congressman who was critically wounded Wednesday at baseball practice is receiving treatment.
Trump arrived around 8:45 p.m. ET for the surprise visit to Medstar Washington Hospital Center, where Rep. Steve Scalise, the number three House Republican, underwent surgery earlier Wednesday for wounds sustained in the shooting, which took place outside Washington.
He was accompanied on the evening trip by his wife, first lady Melania Trump. The couple brought flowers for the injured lawmaker.
The hospital said after the surgery that Scalise remained in critical condition. A US Capitol Police officer who was also hurt in the gun attack was also receiving treatment at the facility, situated about three miles northeast of the White House.
Ahead of his visit, a White House official said Trump may only be able to visit Scalise’s family, which has gathered at the facility, since the lawmaker himself remains critically ill.
Earlier Wednesday, Trump called for unity across party lines during a subdued statement from the White House. He avoided issuing partisan blame for the attack, which was carried out by an assailant who had expressed anger at Trump’s election and support for Democratic candidates.
It’s the first major domestic incident that has prompted a response from Trump, who spoke straight into the camera during his brief statement from the Diplomatic Reception Room. During his remarks, Trump disclosed that the shooter had died, the first confirmation from any official of the death.
His appearance was shorter than his predecessor’s post-shooting statements, and did not contain political overtures, as President Barack Obama’s reactions often did. But Trump did strike a similar tone of solemnity, which has become rare during his public appearances until this point.
“Everyone on that field is a public servant — 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,” Trump said.
“We may have our differences, but we do well, in times like these, to remember that everyone who serves in our nation’s capital is here because, above all, they love our country.”