BY JOHN T. BENNETT AND NIELS LESNIEWSKI, CQ ROLL CALL
Updated 8:35 p.m. | House Majority Whip Steve Scalise could be hospitalized for some time as he is treated for the effects of a gunshot wound.
That is according to an update Thursday evening from MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where doctors predicted the Louisiana Republican will need more surgery.
“Earlier today, Congressman Steve Scalise underwent a second surgery related to his internal injuries and a broken bone in his leg. He remains in critical condition, but has improved in the last 24 hours,” the hospital said in a statement. “The Congressman will require additional operations, and will be in the hospital for some time.”
Earlier in the day, President Donald Trump said Scalise’s condition after being shot in the hip Wednesday was more serious than first expressed.
“It’s been much more difficult than people even thought at the time,” Trump said before an event on apprenticeships at the White House. “He’s in some trouble” Trump said, adding grimly: “He’s going to be OK — we hope.”
The president had a message for the Scalise family: The entire country “sends its love.”
Trump began the morning by calling those leading the Justice Department’s Russia election meddling probe “very bad and conflicted people,” then contended the shooting that also injured several Capitol Police officers, a lobbyist and a congressional aide has “brought some unity to this divided country.”
The president also praised the officers who were on the scene of the GOP baseball team’s morning practice ahead of tonight’s 56th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game as part of Scalise’s security detail, which all House and Senate leaders get. “They saved a lot of lives,” Trump said.
His comments came after he and First Lady Melania Trump visited a sedated Scalise and his family at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. The first couple delivered a large bouquet of white flowers to the GOP whip’s room.
Once back at the executive mansion, the president tweeted that Scalise is in “Very tough shape.”
Just left hospital. Rep. Steve Scalise, one of the truly great people, is in very tough shape — but he is a real fighter. Pray for Steve!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2017
Vice President Mike Pence and wife Karen visited Scalise on Thursday morning, with the VP’s Twitter account posting a picture of the second couple talking to doctors and Capitol Police officials — with very serious expressions on their faces, seeming to underscore the seriousness of the Louisiana congressman’s condition.
The hospital issued a statement Wednesday night saying Scalise will need more operations after undergoing two on Wednesday.
“The bullet travelled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding. He was transported in shock to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, a Level I Trauma Center,” the hospital said.
“He underwent immediate surgery, and an additional procedure to stop bleeding,” according to MedStar center. “He has received multiple units of blood transfusion. His condition is critical, and he will require additional operations.”