Trump Addresses Congressional Baseball Crowd to Call for Unity: 'Let's Play Ball'

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Trump Addresses Congressional Baseball Crowd to Call for Unity: 'Let's Play Ball'

President Donald Trump said Friday that Steve Scalise "took a bullet for all of us".

The Congressional Baseball game had "higher attendance than MLB games in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, MN, Oakland", according to The New York Times.

Sixty members of Congress from both parties knelt at second base in prayer for the four people wounded during a shooting that took place during the Republicans' final tune-up for the 57th Congressional #Baseball Game. Democrats won in an 11-2 blowout. Doyle the. gave the winning trophy to the Republicans to put in Scalise's office.

The game at Nationals Park carried on a century-old bipartisan ritual, this one tinged with worry about Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise and the players' determination to answer the attack by coming together in sport. They are on track to raise $1 million this year, almost twice as much as last year. "The game will go on, now let's play ball!", Trump proclaimed. Then, top leaders of the House and Senate - Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer - joined other lawmakers on the field to yell "Play Ball" to the crowd. Trump sat by Scalise's bedside and met with his wife Jennifer, as well as Capitol Police officer Crystal Griner, who was also wounded in the attack, and her wife.

Republicans and Democrats have swapped political insults for friendly rivalry at their annual congressional baseball game in honour of House of Representatives politician Steve Scalise, critically injured in a shooting rampage.

"By playing tonight you are showing the world that we will not be intimidated by threats, acts of violence, or assaults", Trump said.

The Washington Nationals released additional seating in at the stadium to accommodate the demand.

Trump added that Scalise is "having a hard time, far worse than anybody thought" following the shooting Wednesday. "I'm prayerful he will pull through, and I hope he does", he said.

Flake went on to say, "I hope he's in good enough shape to watch, because he'll certainly feel good about what he sees, I was there at the hospital last night, and I hope he's doing better today. It's a long road for him".

Democrat Cedric Richmond, a fellow Louisiana congressman, said as many others did that Scalise is a fighter. The two have enjoyed a long-running ribbing over the game, which Republicans won last year to break a seven-year Democratic win streak. Hodgkinson's wife emotionally told reporters Thursday, "I can't believe he did this", saying there were no signs. "It'll be a different game without him there".

Hodgkinson also contacted the office of Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., at least 10 times over the past year, a Bost spokesman has said, characterizing the emails and phone calls as negative but not threatening. "I think that his risk of death right now is substantially lower than when he came in. he was as critical as you can be when he came in".

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