Culture

Donald Trump Jokes About Steve Scalise Getting Shot: ‘It’s A Hell Of A Way To Lose Weight!’

Following the official passage of the GOP’s massive tax bill in the U.S. Senate and House, Donald Trump and his Republican allies took to the Rose Garden to celebrate. That’s where, during an overly long introduction to a handful of other speakers he insisted would be “short,” the president cracked a joke about Rep. Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) getting shot over the summer. “Steve Scalise, he’s braver than all of us. He’s braver. Where is he? He had a rougher year than most of us,” Trump said after singling the congressman out. “It’s a hell of a way to lose weight, Steve.”

Trump immediately added something to the effect of “you said that last night,” suggesting Scalise himself had (or has) made the self-deprecating joke. Without any context, however, the everyone watching the president’s remarks were left in shock and disbelief. In June, Scalise and two Capitol Hill police officer were shot when a gunman attacked the Congressional baseball teams’ practice in Alexandria, Virginia. The Louisiana representative faced a daunting recovery in the months that followed but was ultimately discharged from the hospital. He returned to the House floor and received a standing ovation in late September.

Scalise has faced criticism since for his apparent refusal to publicly acknowledge the fact that one of the injured police officers who saved his life is a lesbian. Even so, as reporters, pundits and lay tweeters from all sides of the political aisle have suggested via their responses, that doesn’t mean Scalise is deserving of Trump’s remarks.

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