Politics

Representative Steve King blames shooting on the ‘left’

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Representative Steve King, an Iowa Republican, said Wednesday the political culture driven by the “left” created an environment where violence against elected leaders was possible.

“I don’t know anything about the perpetrator,” said King, referring to the gunman who fired at members of Congress during their baseball practice. “But I do know that America is divided. . . . And the violence is appearing in the streets. And it’s coming from the left.”

Advertisement

King spoke to reporters from a police perimeter near the field where the shooting took place, and explained that he drove there from Washington in order to pray for his wounded colleagues. Five people were wounded, including House majority whip Steve Scalise.

King learned about the shooting while in a meeting in Washington on Wednesday morning with other members of the House Republican conference.

Get Political Happy Hour in your inbox:
Your afternoon shot of politics, sent straight from the desk of Joshua Miller.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

“Our discussion this morning was to be about the disappearance of the American center. And the polarization of our country that has taken place,” King said. “I regret what I’ve seen in this society. This bitterness. This acrimony. This division that’s taking place.”

He pointed to the many residents of Alexandria who protested President Trump as evidence of the divide.

“This city was filled up with demonstrations the day after the inauguration where you couldn’t drive down the streets,” King said. “And we’ve had demonstrations every week since then. It’s the same coalitions of people on that side who don’t accept the results of the election. We’ll see what this perpetrator has to say.”

Advertisement

Speaking of the gunman, King added: “If he were on the way to the morgue it wouldn’t make me sorry at all,” King said.

The gunman, who has been identified as James T. Hodgkinson III, 66, from Illinois, died after being shot by police.

Hodgkinson was a volunteer on Senator Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign, according to The Washington Post.

“I am sickened by this despicable act,’’ Sanders said on the Senate floor after learning the shooter was a former volunteer. “Let me be as clear as I can be. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms. Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs against our most deeply held American values.’’

Annie Linskey can be reached at annie.linskey@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @annielinskey.
Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com