President Donald Trump called for unity in the face of “assaults on our democracy" in a video message that aired before the Congressional Baseball Game Thursday, thanking Congress, staff and the crowd for supporting the event.
“As you all know, tonight’s game has taken on a much deeper level of meaning, beyond anything that we would have thought. By playing tonight, you are showing the world that we will not be intimidated by threats, acts of violence, or assaults on our democracy,” Trump said in the video.
The annual game took place a day after a mass shooting at a Republican baseball practice that left Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) in critical condition.
The president said he sent his thoughts and prayers to Scalise and his family: “Steve is our friend. He’s a patriot and he’s a true fighter.”
“In Washington we have our disagreements, but we all agree that we are here to serve this nation we love and the people who call it home,” Trump said. “That’s the source of our unity….The game will go on.”
Democrats and Republicans came together for a moment of prayer before the first pitch, which was thrown out by David Bailey, a Capitol Police officer who was among several other people injured in the shooting Wednesday in Alexandria, Va.
Greeted by cheers from the audience at Nationals Park, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle shook hands and patted each other on the backs before kneeling for a prayer for those wounded, led by House of Representatives Chaplain Patrick Conroy.