Rep. Steve King: Obama fueled divisions that led to shooting
© Greg Nash

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) linked former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaThe Hill's 12:30 Report: NYT publishes controversial Tom Cotton op-ed The millions of young people forgotten amid pandemic response Poll: Biden leads Trump, Cunningham neck and neck with Tillis in North Carolina MORE to the attack on Republican lawmakers at a baseball field in Northern Virginia, arguing Obama deepened the nation's political divisions by emphasizing "differences rather than our things that unify us."

That intense political division, King said, is what led a gunman to open fire at a park in Alexandria, Va., on Wednesday, as Republican members of Congress were practicing for a charity baseball game against their Democratic colleagues.

"I do want to put some of this at the feet of Barack Obama," King said on WHO Iowa radio. "He contributed mightily to dividing us. He focused on our differences rather than our things that unify us. And this is some of the fruits of that labor."

The exchange was first reported by CNN's K-File.

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Five people were wounded in the early morning attack, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), who has underwent three surgeries since the shooting and remains in critical condition. 

The shooter was identified by law enforcement as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill., a former volunteer for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump signs order removing environmental reviews for major projects | New Trump air rule will limit future pollution regulations, critics say | DNC climate group calls for larger federal investment on climate than Biden plan Google: Chinese and Iranian hackers targeting Biden, Trump campaigns Sanders: Police departments that violate civil rights should lose federal funding MORE's (I-Vt.) 2016 presidential campaign and a professed critic of President Trump. He was shot by police minutes after the attack began and later died of his injuries.

Some Republicans say anti-Trump sentiment on the left has created a climate of political violence. Hodgkinson's political views were immediately examined as a motive for the shooting.