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Trump makes surprise visit to shot congressman in hospital

Trump makes surprise visit to shot congressman in hospital

President Trump visited House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) in the hospital on Wednesday after the No. 3 House Republican was critically wounded by a gunman.

Trump was reportedly joined by first lady Melania Trump, according to a pool report. Reporters accompanying the president were asked to wait in vans outside the hospital. 

Upon entering the hospital, Trump spoke with the congressman's family and sat by his bedside, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said. Also accompanying Trump to the hospital was his personal physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson, who had reportedly visited the hospital earlier to discuss Scalise's condition. The first lady gave Scalise's family a bouquet of flowers.

The Trumps also paid a visit to Capitol Police officer Crystal Griner, who was shot in the ankle Wednesday morning in the same attack. Griner and her wife were also presented with flowers. 

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Scalise and Griner were shot along with three others Wednesday morning at a park in Alexandria, Va., as GOP members of Congress held a baseball practice for an upcoming game against their Democratic colleagues.

Scalise was rushed to MedStar Washington Hospital Center for surgery. He remains in critical condition. 

A White House press pool report issued Wednesday night confirmed that the president had arrived at the hospital.

The shooter was identified as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson, a former home inspector from Belleville, Ill. Hodgkinson was shot multiple times by law enforcement and later died of his injuries. 

The attacker was a former volunteer for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation Clyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts Prepare for buyers' remorse when Biden/Harris nationalize health care MORE's (I-Vt.) presidential campaign who fiercely criticized Trump on social media. His political views are being examined as a possible motive for the attack.

The shooting came a day before congressional Democrats and Republicans face off in an annual charity baseball game at Nationals Park. Spicer said Wednesday night that Trump would not attend the game due to security concerns.

“While the president would like to attend the game and show his support for all of these brave public servants, he has been advised that there is not enough time to follow Secret Service protocols,” Spicer told reporters.

— Jordan Fabian contributed to this report.