The commander-in-chief celebrated his 71st birthday by visiting a critically wounded congressman.
President Donald Trump, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, paid a surprise visit to Rep. Steve Scalise at MedStar Washington Hospital Center during Wednesday’s early evening hours.
Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs reported that the president wanted the visit to remain private, and the press wasn’t allowed to accompany the first couple.
Pool reporters covering Trump asked to wait in vans outside while president, on his birthday, pays visit to wounded GOP leader Steve Scalise pic.twitter.com/CSdJfE51LD
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) June 15, 2017
Scalise, who represents a Louisiana district and serves as the House Republican Whip, was injured at Wednesday’s shooting spree during practice session for an upcoming charity baseball game against congressional Democrats.
“The president entered the room, spoke with Scalise’s family members and sat by his bedside with Mrs. Trump,” Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, describing the emotional scene, according to Fox News.
The Trumps also visited Crystal Griner, a US Capitol Police officer who was also injured during the melee, and presented Griner and Scalise’s wife Jennifer with a bouquet of white flowers during the visit. From Fox News:
Of the other two victims, lobbyist Matt Mika was in critical condition after being shot multiple times. Legislative aide Zack Barth suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
[Alleged gunman James. T.] Hodgkinson was shot and killed by law enforcement officers. Investigators said Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, and U.S. Capitol Police officer David Bailey suffered minor injuries in the mayhem following the gunfire.
The Associated Press White House correspondent Jill Colvin reported:
President Trump and the First Lady are making a surprise visit to the hospital to visit Rep. Scalise and the wounded female officer.
— Jill Colvin (@colvinj) June 15, 2017
Hospital staff said in a statement that Scalise was shot once in the hip during the attack, Fox News reported.
“The bullet travelled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding,” the statement said. “He underwent immediate surgery, and an additional procedure to stop bleeding. He has received multiple units of blood transfusion.”
Shooting of Rep. Scalise caused fractured bones, internal injuries & severe bleeding, according to latest hospital update. pic.twitter.com/xjPiXbfI86
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) June 15, 2017
Following the visit, the president asked the nation to offer its prayers for Scalise, whom he described as being in “very tough shape.”
Just left hospital. Rep. Steve Scalise, one of the truly great people, is in very tough shape – but he is a real fighter. Pray for Steve!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2017
The Trumps met briefly with hospital staff before departing.
— Doug Mills (@dougmillsnyt) June 15, 2017
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 15, 2017
President Trump and Scalise were friends as well as political colleagues. The following video shows Trump wishing Scalise’s daughter a Happy Birthday in happier days not too long ago:
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) March 17, 2017
Upon hearing the news of Trump’s surprise visit, CNN and Washington Post reporters began to spin the story — or, at least they tried.
Oh, but that’s not all. CNN’s Senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta was all too quick too claim that Trump sitting by his friend’s bedside was a false story by running with a unverified source:
Acosta ended up deleting the tweet, but it had already spread like wildfire:
As independent journalist Jack Posobiec pointed out, “This is what fake news looks like.”
As for the attack itself, Hodgkinson was described as a fan of Sen. Bernie Sanders who despised the GOP and President Donald Trump. Rep. Mark Walker told NBC News that he thought the “gunman was there to kill as many Republican members as possible.”
The following is raw footage of President and Mrs. Trump departing from the hospital.
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Clip via Fox 10 Phoenix
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