Donald Trump and his wife Melania visited top Republican Congressman Steve Scalise, recuperating at a hospital after being shot by a rifle-welding critic of the president who sprayed bullets on US lawmakers practising for an annual baseball game in a Washington suburb.
Their surprise visit at a city hospital came late last night after the gunman identified as James Hodgkinson, 66, opened fire during the practice session in Alexandria, Virginia yesterday. Hodgkinson was shot dead by the police.
Congressman Steve Scalise, the House Majority Whip in which capacity he is the third ranking member of the ruling Republican party, was shot and badly wounded along with two very Capitol Police officers and two others.
"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!" Trump said in a tweet.
They also met the doctors treating Scalise, including Ira Rabin, vice president for medical operations of the hospital and talked to Scalise's wife Jennifer, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters.
"He entered the room, spoke with Scalise's family, and sat by his bedside with Mrs Trump," he said.
Trump and his wife Melania were accompanied to the hospital by the president's personal physician Ronny Jackson. Jackson rode in the motorcade, but had been to the hospital to confer on Scalise earlier, Spicer said.
Melania offered Scalise's family a bouquet of white flowers.
Trump and Melania also met Capitol Police Officer Crystal Griner and his wife.
Spicer said the president and his wife talked to other Capitol Police officers who were at the hospital.
Rabin was seen accompanying the Trumps to the exit when they were leaving.
Spicer noted that Trump does not plan to attend the congressional baseball game today due to security and logistical 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," he said in response to a question.