WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump suggested Thursday that Rep. Steve Scalise is in worse condition than many initially realized.
Speaking from the White House, Trump called the Louisiana congressman a “greater fighter” but indicated the situation remains very serious.
“It’s been much more difficult than people even thought at that time,” Trump said. “He’s in some trouble.”
The Republican lawmaker was treated at a Washington hospital Wednesday after a single rifle shot struck his hip during a shooting attack at a GOP congressional baseball practice in suburban Virginia. His doctors indicated Scalise suffered internal wounds and fractured bones, and was due for additional surgery.
Trump, who visited Scalise at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center on Wednesday evening, expressed optimism that Scalise would eventually recover.
“He’s going to be OK, we hope,” Trump said.
In remarks at the White House focused on a new apprenticeship program, Trump said that Wednesday’s shooting in Virginia could bring unity to a divided nation.
“Steve, in his own way, may have brought some unity to our long-divided country,” Trump said in the Roosevelt Room. “We’ve had a very, very divided country for many years, and I have a feeling that Steve has made a great sacrifice, but there could be some unity being brought to our country.”
Another victim, lobbyist Matt Mika, is in critical condition as of Thursday morning, according to a statement from his family. Mika was “shot multiple times in his chest and arm and suffered massive trauma” and now “requires assistance to breathe and will need additional surgeries.”
The statement said Mika has “been alert, conscious and communicating through notes.”
“We are grateful for the care he has received, from the first responders in the field to the world-class care here at the hospital,” the family said in a statement. “We understand he is lucky to be alive and we owe it to these amazing individuals and Matt’s fighting spirit and grit. Additionally, we want to thank the Capitol Police for their heroic actions to stop the shooter before he could hurt even more people.”