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GOP congressman asks Trump to attend annual baseball game

June 13, 2018

FILE - In this March 6, 2018 file photo, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise speaks at the 2018 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington. Scalise, the Louisiana Republican who was shot and nearly killed during a Congressional baseball practice, apparently has a memoir coming this fall. The 304-page book is called “Back in the Game,” according to listings on Amazon.com and the web site for the publisher Center Street. The release date is Nov. 13. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The coach of the Republican baseball team says he personally asked President Donald Trump to attend the annual game on Thursday, the anniversary of the shooting rampage that wounded the third-ranking GOP leader and others.

“I asked him to come, I guess it was last week, I was over at the Oval Office,” said Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas. “He said, ‘I’ll be there.’”

A spokeswoman later said the meeting was May 21. Williams added that he doesn’t know if the president will attend.

The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.

The annual game between Republicans and Democrats, which dates to 1909, carries great emotional weight this year in the wake of the attack against House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and other lawmakers. Scalise sustained life-threatening injuries but returned to work last fall.

Williams said Scalise was expected to start at second base on Thursday at Nationals Park.

Also planning to be at the game, Williams said, were members of Trump’s Cabinet and other special guests.

Thursday also is Trump’s 72nd birthday.

The president has been publicly supportive of Scalise, the Capitol Police officers who were wounded and other first responders. At the State of the Union speech in January, Trump cited Scalise, who was shot in the hip and faced a grueling recovery.

Trump called him “one of the toughest people ever to serve in this House, a guy who took a bullet, almost died, and was back to work three-and-a-half months later, the legend from Louisiana, Congressman Steve Scalise.”

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