Rep. Steve Scalise 'took a bullet for all of us'

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The congressman's risk of death was now substantially lower because doctors have controlled the bleeding and his vital signs have stabilized.

"It's been much more hard than people even thought at the time", Mr Trump said of the treatment of Mr Scalise, the No 3 GOP leader, who is in critical condition and underwent a third surgery at the MedStar Washington Hospital Centre.

Scalise has remained under sedation, although doctors have lightened the medication at times so that the congressman can communicate with relatives.

"He clearly knows they're there and appreciates their presence", Sava said. Scalise, who was shot in the hip, is now out of surgery. The hospital said he would require additional operations and said he remained in critical condition as of Wednesday evening.

One day after the Capitol Police officer was injured protecting congressmen and aides from a gunman, Bailey drew a loud cheer from the crowd as he put aside his crutches to throw out the first pitch at the Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington.

Trump said Scalise "made a great sacrifice, but there could be some unity brought to our country".

"A lot of times in politics we have divisions but it shouldn't come to violence", he said.

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When Scalise arrived at Washington Hospital Center, a Level I Trauma Center, on Wednesday he underwent immediate surgery, receiving multiple units of blood transfusion, according to the hospital.

So far, investigators have not linked Hodgkinson to any radical groups, said a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.

"Both were purchased by the shooter from federal firearms licensees", the Capitol Police said in a statement.

Hodgkinson, a Belleville, Illinois, home inspector who had been living out of his van near the park, had a social media page filled with criticism of Republicans and the Trump administration. While the top lawmakers, including Scalise, have security details, others do not and they regularly appear in public without protection.

Vice President Mike Pence earlier on Thursday said he visited the hospital where Scalise was being treated. More than twice the usual number of tickets were sold amid an outpouring of support for House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, who was critically wounded, and three others injured in the attack. A hospital statement said Scalise was doing better over the previous 24 hours but would be in the hospital for some time.

"I know that he would want the game to be played", said Richmond.

A touching photo shows the moment Democrats gathered to pray Wednesday morning after hearing the news of a shooting at the field of their GOP colleagues as they practiced for a charity baseball game.

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