President Trump visits Scalise, other shooting victims at hospital

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WASHINGTON ¬†— President Donald Trump made an evening visit to the hospital where Rep. Steve Scalise is receiving treatment Wednesday.

Accompanied by his wife, Trump arrived around sunset for the surprise visit to MedStar Washington Hospital Center.  Scalise, a Jefferson Parish Republican and the number three House Republican, underwent surgery at the facility earlier Wednesday for wounds sustained in a shooting, which took place at a baseball practice just outside Washington on Wednesday morning.

NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 12: U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) speaks to the media after a meeting at Trump Tower on December 12, 2016 in New York City. President-elect Donald Trump continues to hold meetings with potential members of his cabinet at his office. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The couple brought two large bouquets of white flowers for the injured lawmaker’s wife, as well as for Crystal Griner, a US Capitol Police officer also wounded in the gun attack.

Inside the facility, Trump sat next to Scalise’s bed and spoke with his family, according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer. He also spoke with Griner and her wife, as well as hospital doctors.

A senior administration official said the mood inside the hospital was somber during Trump’s visit, which came hours after Scalise emerged from surgery still in critical condition after suffering a single rifle shot to his hip.

The President and first lady remained inside the hospital for about twenty minutes before returning to the White House.

MedStar said Scalise had suffered injuries to internal organs and fractured bones during the shooting. He was administered multiple units of blood transfusions and will require additional operations, hospital representatives said.

Trump brought with him to the hospital Dr. Ronny Jackson, the White House physician, who had visited the center earlier in the day to ascertain Scalise’s condition from doctors there.

In a statement from the White House Wednesday morning, Trump called for unity across party lines after the shooting. 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.

“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.”