Like most Americans you probably credit the Capitol Police security detail assigned to provide protection to GOP Whip Steve Scalise for the rapid response in the wake of the assassination attempt on the lives of Republican congressmen. They were staked out by a radical left-wing hater as they practiced for an annual bipartisan charity baseball game. The shooter inquired to determine the player’s party affiliation prior to opening fire early Wednesday. He was a Bernie Sanders’ Socialist.
But if you read the newspaper account of the horrific event, you’d think Sen. Jeff Flake, up for reelection in 2018, was the hero of the day.
U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise remains in critical condition following multiple surgeries. Five others were wounded. The shooter, who traveled from Illinois to surveil the congressmen had been living in his van since March. He was shot by police and later died of his injuries.
“Prior to entering surgery, the Whip was in good spirits and spoke to his wife by phone,” Scalise’s office said in this statement. “He is grateful for the brave actions of U.S. Capitol Police, first responders, and colleagues.”
Jeff Flake took Scalise’s phone and called the wife of the seriously wounded congressman, so she wouldn’t hear the news from media sources.
Rep. Mo Brooks who was at the practice, told CNN (transcript) that the gunman was holding what he described as a semi-automatic rifle in the area behind third base and that Scalise had been near second base. Brooks said he tried to help Scalise, saying, “We used my belt to help put a tourniquet around his leg.”
Brooks said, “Brad Wenstrup of Ohio was someplace; I don’t know where but I know he was there because after the shooter was down and we ran out to see Steve Scalise at second base, Brad Wenstrup is a physician and we deferred to his judgment on what to do. As I said, I held a cloth over the wound to stop the bleeding as Brad was getting some kind of scissors device to cut through the pants to try to have better access to Steve Scalise’s wound in his hip.”
Senator Rand Paul, another physician, was also on the scene.
Jeff Flake received a call from former Pres. Barack Obama, with whom he has forged a deep friendship, asking about the attempted massacre of Republicans. With a revealing lack of basic manners, Obama asked Flake to relay his good wishes to Scalise‘s wife. He must have been running late for tee time.
Although the FBI has confirmed that Arizona Republican Congressman Trent Franks (CD 8) was on the shooter’s hit list, this was the Arizona Republic’s “all about Flake” front page the day following the shooting: