Scarborough: 'The heated rhetoric in this country has to calm down'

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough early Thursday called for political rhetoric to "calm down" in the wake of the shooting at a congressional baseball practice outside Washington, D.C.

Scarborough said on "Morning Joe" that his prayers are with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and the others who were shot early Wednesday morning and "are still struggling."

"The heated rhetoric in this country has to calm down. We've been saying it on this show for a decade now," Scarborough said.

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"It's actually the purpose of this show, where you can actually debate other people and get along at the end. There has been a disconnect in American society, in American culture and in American politics."

Scarborough said the heated rhetoric has been "driven in part" by social media, heated cable news, fake news and hate mongers "who actually make money and become fabulously wealthy creating conspiracy theories that paint the other side as evil."

Scarborough's comments follow the shooting Wednesday at a Republican baseball practice in Alexandria, Va. Scalise was shot and remained in critical condition as of Wednesday night. Four other people were also wounded in the shooting.

In the wake of the shooting, President Trump called for unity.

“We may have our differences, but we do well in times like these to remember everyone who serves in our nation’s capital is here because, above all, they love our country,” Trump said Wednesday in a statement from the White House.

“We can all agree that we are blessed to be Americans, that our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace and we are strongest when we are unified and when we work together for the common good."