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News on The 700 Club: June 15, 2017

As seen on "The 700 Club," June 15: Eyewitness account and video from Republican baseball practice shooting; Toxic politics to blame for Alexandria shooting? Franklin Graham says 'yes,' and more. Read Transcript

Welcome to the 700 Club.

Congressman Steve Scalise is in critical condition

in a Washington hospital.

He's going to need more surgeries

after the shooting attack on the Republican baseball team

yesterday morning.

Well, the new law enforcement or now law enforcement

is trying to find out more about the man who

went after the congressional Republicans.

Erik Rosales brings us this look at the shooting assault

and the heroes who saved lives.


ERIK ROSALES: Noah Nathan of Alexandria, Virginia

was walking his dog right next to the practice

at Simpson Field when shots rang out Wednesday morning.

I thought it was fireworks.

And then, I heard another one.

And I thought, OK, this isn't fireworks,

and I saw some of the players scurrying around.

And so I just got down.

ERIK ROSALES: The gunfire lasted for several minutes.

Nathan hid behind a trash can.


You actually had shots come near you?

Yeah, they were hitting off the gravel,

and you could hear him hitting the fence.

ERIK ROSALES: And what did you do then?

I was just trying to get as flat as I could.

ERIK ROSALES: In the end, Congressman Steve Scalise

was struck in the hip, rushed to the hospital,

and underwent surgery.

Matt Mika, a lobbyist for Tyson Foods, was shot in the chest.

Zachary Barth, a staffer, was also hit,

and is expected to make a full recovery.

And a Capitol police officer, Crystal Griner,

was also struck during the gun battle.

Representatives at the ballpark said

they are thankful to be alive.

I saw the gunman come around the backstop,

and he had a clear line of fire into the dugout.

I only saw him for a second or two,

long enough for me to recognize that if I could see him,

he could see me.

ERIK ROSALES: FBI investigators say

the shooter, 66-year-old James Hodgkinson from Illinois,

died at the hospital after being shot in the chest

several times.

Records confirm Hodgkinson was highly

critical of President Trump and other Republicans

on social media.

He had been in trouble with the law before.

Police received a phone call about him

after gunfire was reported near his Bellevue, Illinois home.

The FBI told CBN News, the 66-year-old

was not working and had been living out of his car

since March of this year in the Alexandria area.

We will continue to have presence

as we process a scene here in Alexandria,

and FBI agents are searching the shooter's home.

ERIK ROSALES: After the shooting,

local pastors showed up quickly to provide prayer and support.

We can have differences of opinion

on today's political topics, but violence should never

be in front of that.

ERIK ROSALES: Meanwhile, both US Capitol and Alexandria police

top brass praised the work of officers assigned

to protect Scalise, as well as the officers responding

to the scene.

I'm very proud of the officers of APD

and the officers from the Capitol Police

who stood their ground and did their job.

They did their job, which saved the lives of many

at and around the ballpark.


Yes, they did.

And if they hadn't been there, you

wonder of the carnage that would have resulted.

They certainly saved many lives.

Erik, the FBI said the shooter stayed in Alexandria,

and they want to speak with people

who had encounters with him.

What are they looking for?

Well, the main thing right now is,

they want to figure out motive.

You know, they want to figure out,

was this an isolated incident?

What set him off?

One of my colleagues did speak to the mayor of Alexandria,

and she said that she actually met the gunman

at the local YMCA.

He was known as the man with the computer.

She says that he would often shower there

and he basically was-- he didn't seem depressed,

and he was very well-spoken.

That's what she said.

Well, it certainly looks like we're

going to see more security.

These are, after all, public servants,

and they have to be at public events.

Are we going to see that?

Are we going to now see security with every member of Congress?

Well, you know, I did speak with a number

of people on Capitol Hill, a number of the senators

and congressmen.

And they actually just said, no, they don't want it.

They need to be able to have the public needs,

to be able to have access to them.

And that really sends out the wrong message, a message

that these types of criminal acts are in fact winning,

and they don't want that.

All right, well, Eric, thank you.

Democrats and Republicans came together in Congress

after yesterday's shooting attack,

and House Speaker Paul Ryan made it clear that both parties were

standing united.

An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.


ABIGAIL ROBERTSON: Partisan politics paused for a day

as Capitol Hill united in prayer for those

injured in Wednesday's attack.

We were sitting ducks.

I mean, we had no--

we had nothing to fight back with but bats.

ABIGAIL ROBERTSON: Congressman Roger Williams

told us of efforts to help his wounded aide, Zachary Barth,

and representative Jeff Flake, tying a tourniquet

around his leg.

All the time he was bleeding and we were under fire,

he was texting.

He was texting, letting people know we were under fire

and that we needed help.


told CBN News he felt helpless, watching

Representative Scalise go down as the gunfire continued.

People were nearly killed because of someone who

got carried away with politics.

ABIGAIL ROBERTSON: Paul says had Scalise as a house leader

not had his Capitol Police security detail with him,

it would have been a massacre.

Two heroes-- man and a woman--

they confronted the attacker who turned fire.

Both were wounded, both are in the hospital,

but probably saved the lives of many people.

ABIGAIL ROBERTSON: The democratic baseball team

practicing nearby stopped and prayed

in the dugout upon hearing the news.

That type of emotion swept Capitol Hill as other lawmakers

learned of the shooting.

Senator Lankford told CBN how he saw various staffers gathered

in prayer, and he ended his floor speech

by praying for those injured and thanking

God for his protection.

He says colleagues are now talking about the rising death

threats to lawmakers.


JAMES LANKFORD: Many of my fellow colleagues

have faced a lot of personal death threats

to them and to their family.

And we see what that really looks like when that actually

gets carried out by some individual that

moves from just making threats or being a person that's

angry to actually carrying that out.

ABIGAIL ROBERTSON: Earlier, President Trump

called for unity as he spoke to the nation about the shooting.

America is praying for all of the victims

of this terrible shooting.

ABIGAIL ROBERTSON: In the evening,

he left the White House to visit Scalise and the wounded


Despite the shooting, the congressional baseball game

will still go on as scheduled.

Reporting from Capitol Hill, Abigail Robertson, CBN News.

With us now from Capitol Hill is our CBN News

political correspondent, David Brody.

And David, there's a lot of talk that the poisoned

political climate there is at least partly

responsible for this attack.

Do you think this tragedy will somehow change that?

Gordon, I don't think so.

You know, I've been up here now for close to 15 years.

And remember Gabby Giffords six years ago--

and actually, the political climate

got worse after that shooting, not better.

I don't really expect anything new to change here, Gordon.

And let's remember, we heard a lot of flowery statements

yesterday from Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi.

When I say flowery, I'm not demeaning it at all,

but I'm simply saying that that's nice for one

day, but what about the other 364 days?

And I think that's the concern up here on the Hill.

And look, Gordon, I've covered the topics and issues

up here for a very long time now,

and I can tell you that this really

is a battle for our culture.

There are conservative Republicans

up here and conservatives overall

that are battling for the culture.

There are liberals on the other side

who want to move our country in a certain direction.

And that's the cauldron.

Then, you bring Donald Trump into the mix who

tells it like it is, throws political correctness

out the window, and it's a very volatile poison out there.

I say poison-- a very volatile solution

that is obviously turning into what we saw yesterday.

Well, this shooter was clearly targeting Republicans.

Are they concerned about the threat to their safety?

Well, you know, I heard Erik mention that,

in essence, what are they going to do?

They've got to move on.

And that is true.

I will say there was a senator--

and I won't give the name out, but a senator's office

told me this morning specifically that they

have seen the number of threats to their office

go up considerably in the last few months.

And there is talk here on Capitol Hill

about doing something.

But I think that's the key word.

What is the something?

And there's been even talk about dipping into campaign funds.

In other words, they'd obviously have to change the laws up here

on Capitol Hill about that, but-- congressmen

dipping into their campaign funds

to provide security detail for them.

So that's one of a myriad of suggestions

up here, but nothing with traction so far yet, Gordon.


There's also talk about a concealed carry

legislation that would allow them to bear arms within DC.

Will that happen?

Not much traction on that either.

Now, there is a bill here on the House side

by Georgia congressman Barry Loudermilk

who was at the congressional baseball practice yesterday.

He has introduced that conceal carry legislation.

And basically, what they're trying

to do with that legislation-- and there

has been companion legislation on the Senate side

as well, which means that if you have a concealed

carry permit in the state that you're from,

that you would come to DC and be allowed

to have a concealed carry permit here in DC as well.

It wouldn't be for all members of Congress,

just for those that already have it.

But once again, that's been tried here for years,

and it hasn't gone anywhere.

I don't necessarily expect that to go much further up here as


Well, let's go back to the poisoned atmosphere.

There's a report, a leak that the special council may

investigate Trump for obstruction of justice.

How do you think the White House will respond?

Well, the White House has put themselves

in a position where all comments will come from the lawyer--

in this case, Trump's main lawyer.

Having said that, there are comments always coming

from Donald Trump's Twitter feed.

And as a matter of fact, this just coming out this morning--

I'll read it to you.

This is Donald Trump saying, "You

are witnessing the greatest witch

hunt in American political history, led by some very

bad and conflicted people."

So look, this is Donald Trump fighting back.

That's what he does.

Look, I don't think there's any question here

that Donald Trump intended to make sure his name was cleared.

I mean, he'll be the first one to admit that.

He wanted his name cleared.

The question is, was there intent to obstruct justice?

And of course, that's a much higher bar,

and we go into a lot of legal issues.

I will say this.

The lawyers for the Trump White House

are basically a bit concerned about the fact

that Robert Mueller has in essence

hired a lot of folks in his lawyer team with Democrat ties,

whether it be financial or otherwise,

and that has them a bit up at night.

Well, I frankly don't think it's going to go anywhere.

Alan Dershowitz has already come out

to say it's absolutely impossible for the president

to obstruct justice at the federal level.

The FBI reports to him.

The Justice Department reports him.

And in any case, he can always end any investigation

by pardoning anyone involved in it.

So you do, sort of, scratch your head from a legal standpoint.

What are they doing?

But Mueller clearly has a dream team,

and it looks like we're going to be

in for a long, long, investigation,

with many headlines to come.

Well, David, thank you.

Thank you for your insight.

Thanks, Gordon.

I do want to find people that we have an aspiration,

and I hope it's more than an aspiration.

I hope we can make it real, that we are one nation under God,

indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

And the current political climate, I believe,

has led to this.

You certainly hear the rhetoric calling

for all kinds of things, and for somebody

to actually act on that is shocking to us.

But at the same time, it's a byproduct of the climate.

So what do we do now?

I think we need to pray.

And we're already seeing that on Capitol Hill.

Democrats and Republicans are coming together to pray.

And we need to once again reaffirm,

we are one nation under God, indivisible.

We may have our political differences,

but it should not divide us as a nation.


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