Rep. Steve Scalise facing a 'more difficult' recovery than initially thought, President Donald Trump says

A high-ranking U.S. congressman who was shot at a Republican baseball practice is facing a "more difficult" recovery than initially thought, President Donald Trump said Thursday.

Majority Whip Steve Scalise is "in some trouble, but he's a great fighter and he's going to be OK, we hope," Trump said at the White House.

Scalise sustained a rifle shot to the hip when a lone gunman, since identified by law enforcement as James Hodgkinson, opened fire at a baseball field in northern Virginia where Republicans were practicing ahead of a congressional baseball game.

Trump said Scalise "in his own way, may have brought some unity to our long-divided country.

"I have a feeling that Steve has made a great sacrifice, but there could be some unity being brought to our country. Let's hope so," Trump said.

Hodgkinson died of wounds sustained during a firefight with law enforcement.

Trump visited with Scalise's family at the Washington hospital treating him on Thursday night. Trump said he also met with one of two Capitol Police officers, whom he identified as Crystal Griner, at the hospital after she was wounded in the shootout with Hodgkinson.

MedStar Washington Hospital, which is treating the congressman and Griner, said Scalise is suffering from fractured bones and injured internal organs.

It said late Thursday night Scalise had undergone surgery and an additional procedure to stop the bleeding, saying he will require additional operations.

The congressional baseball game Scalise and his fellow Republicans were training for is scheduled to go ahead Thursday night at Washington's Nationals Park.

AA