US President Donald Trump has called for unity in the wake of the horrific shooting incident in which a top Republican leader was injured, saying that despite differences the devotion to the country brings the people together.
"This week, our nation was shocked and horrified when a gunman opened fire on a Member of Congress. Five people were wounded in the assault, including a member of House Leadership -- my good friend, Steve Scalise," Trump said in his weekly web and radio address to the nation.
House Majority Whip Scalise, 51, was shot in the hip by a rifle-welding critic of the president who sprayed bullets on US lawmakers practising for an annual baseball game in the Washington suburb of Alexandria.
In his address yesterday, Trump lauded Scalise, saying he is beloved across Washington, embodies everything public service is about, is dedicated to his constituents, devoted to his values, and deeply committed to his country.
Scalise is the third ranking member of Republican party in the US House of Representatives where it holds a majority.
"I visited Steve, his wife, and his family in the hospital as he continues to fight for his recovery. 435 Members of Congress, and 300 million Americans, are pulling for him, praying for him, and pledging to him our full and total support," he said.
"We continue to hold all of those wounded and fighting for recovery in our hearts and prayers, including Matt Mika, who was also badly wounded," he added.
In that terrible crime, the country also witnessed the incredible heroism of the Capitol Police, he said, adding that Special Agent Crystal Griner -- who he also met during his visit to the hospital -- raced into gunfire, along with Special Agent David Bailey.
"They saved the lives of our Members of Congress and prevented that dark day from becoming a tragedy beyond imagination. They, like so many other courageous police officers, represent the very best of us. We salute them, and we also salute members of Alexandria Police, Fire and Rescue," Trump said.
"Though we have our differences, what unites us is so much stronger: our love of country, our devotion to its people. Now more than ever, these values must guide us -- and bring us closer together. Let us always remember that our job is to serve and represent the whole American People -- and that we are all children of the same God," Trump said.