First pitch for Thursday’s Congressional Baseball Game occurs soon at 7:05 p.m. Eastern time, with Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise and lobbyist Matt Mika still in critical condition after a gunman opened fire at Republican lawmakers’ practice Wednesday morning.
Ticket sales for the game reportedly soared after the shooting, going on pace to more than double last year’s haul for charity at $1 million. Organizers aimed to show it would take more than a shooting to dampen festivities, and that more unites Republicans and Democrats than divides them.
That didn’t stop President Trump from railing Democrats Thursday over a reported investigation into him for obstruction of justice, a felony offense most Americans in a poll said he committed.
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the investigation into ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia has morphed into an investigation of Trump himself around possible obstruction of justice. That’d be the biggest legal hazard so far for Trump, who’s sought to stress that he personally isn’t under investigation.
Trump attacked the report on Twitter, ripping what he called “the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history.” The president complained over the course of eight hours, calling out a “phony collusion” with “zero proof” by “conflicted people.”
Most Americans don’t see it as a witch hunt, per a new poll. About 61% of us think Trump tried to obstruct or impede the Russia inquiry, a survey from the Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found.
“The Donald and I … we are winning in the polls. We are! Not the fake polls. We are winning in the real polls. You know, the online polls. They are so easy to win.” So said Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, per a leaked recording from a supposedly off-record event with journalists on Wednesday.
“They are so easy to win,” Turnbull said, mocking Trump’s citation of online polls. “I have this Russian guy. Believe me, its true, its true.”
Trump, you’ll recall, hung up on Turnball during the two leaders’ phone call earlier this year.
It’s psychological issues, not political vitriol, that cause a troubled person like James Hodgkinson to commit a violent act like Wednesday’s shooting, experts say. “People who are prone to this kind of violence will find justification for acting out from religion, from politics, from whatever,” said Peter Ditto, a professor of psychology at the University of California-Irvine.
Hodgkinson, the suspected shooter who later died of wounds from the attack, displayed simmering anger and strange behavior, neighbors and family members said. Violent episodes put him on the radar of local authorities, and he left a trail of bitter criticism about Republican politicians on Facebook as well as in his local newspaper.
Meanwhile, tensions flared during a security briefing for lawmakers on Wednesday, with lawmakers reportedly claiming they’d voiced concerns about member safety as recently as last week.