— -- In the wake of the tragedy that unfolded yesterday at a GOP members baseball practice, one Republican congressman is arguing that the president is "partially to blame" for the severe divide in politics currently plaguing the nation.
"I would argue that the President is at least in partially -- again not in any way totally, but partially to blame for demons that have been unleashed,” Mark Sanford, R-SC, said on MSNBC.
While Sanford initially noted that the events were “surreal,” he believes that the event is a time to reflect and reconsider the state of our nation.
He noted that the polarization now seen in Congress is the most extreme it has been in the “roughly 20 years” he’s been in politics.
These “demons” were recently observed by Sanford while attending a constituent senior center, where residents freely exchanged expletives when arguing over political issues.
Though Sanford was careful not to blame Trump entirely, he said of Congress members: “we ought to call” Trump’s behavior “bizarre.”
He closed by saying that yesterday, while a tragedy, is also a learning opportunity. He also took the event as a chance for personal reflection, saying he now is asking himself, “What might I do a little differently in the way I reach out to other members.”
The reaction came just a day after Wednesday’s attack. The shooting saw four victims, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise among them. Lobbyist Matt Mika, Zachary Barth, a staffer for Rep. Roger Williams, and Capitol police officer Crystal Griner were the other shooting victims.
Rep. Scalise is still in critical condition after having undergone three surgeries since the event.
The congressional baseball game that the GOP team was preparing for will be played Thursday at Nationals Stadium.