Trump: Scalise 'took a bullet for all of us'

President Trump on Friday urged unity in the wake of a shooting two days earlier that left House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) in critical condition, saying that the No. 3 House Republican "took a bullet for all of us."

"My dear friend Steve Scalise took a bullet for all of us," Trump said during a speech in Miami to roll out his administration's new policy on Cuba.

"And because of him and the tremendous pain and suffering he's now enduring — he's having a hard time, far worse than anybody thought — our country will perhaps become closer, more unified. So important," Trump said.

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Scalise, who was among five victims shot on Wednesday, was rushed to MedStar Washington Hospital Center after the incident at a park in Alexandria, Va., where a group of GOP lawmakers were practicing for the annual Congressional Baseball Game.

The hospital said in a statement on Thursday evening that Scalise had improved over the past day after multiple surgeries. The hospital said he would stay there "for some time."

The shooter was identified as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson, a former volunteer for Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSchumer: Franken should resign Franken resignation could upend Minnesota races Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign MORE's (I-Vt.) presidential campaign and a frequent critic of Trump and Republicans. He was shot by law enforcement officials at the scene of the attack and later died of his injuries.

The shooting rattled lawmakers on Capitol Hill and sparked widespread calls for unity amid a deepening political divide in the U.S.