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Mike Lee Responds to Virginia Shooting, Offers Words of Wisdom for Americans and the Media

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) talked with Glenn this morning following the shooting at a GOP baseball practice to share details on what he knows as of now, as well as offer words of wisdom for Americans and the media:

• Let's not speculate as to what the motive might have been, as to who the shooter was and what prompted him to do this. Wait for details to be confirmed.

• Words of reconciliation are always in order. You'll never regret being kind, you'll never regret uttering words that are meant to bring people together.

• We should all pray for those involved and the victims and their families.

Watch the complimentary clip for details.

GLENN: We go now to Washington, DC, and Senator Mike Lee. Many of his colleagues, Jeff Flake was -- was a part of this. Rand Paul was out on the baseball field as well.

Mike, welcome to the program. How are you?

MIKE: Thank you very much, Glenn. I'm sobered this morning. My thoughts and prayers go out to my friends who were there. I was not -- I heard about this a few minutes after the shooting started. I got a call from my friend Ellen James. She used to work for me. She's on the staff of Congressman Barry Loudermilk now. She called and asked if I could find out what had happened. This is the first I had heard of it, so I immediately started calling my friends who were there. I called -- got through to Senator Flake, who told me that Steve Scalise had been shot. He had been hit in the hip and was being taken to the hospital. I, of course, was shocked. It's a very scary thing.

GLENN: Mike, there wasn't -- are you guys allowed to carry guns as senators or congressmen?

MIKE: I do know that there are very restrictive laws in the District of Columbia, with regard to gun possession. I'm not certain what the laws are, with regard to members of Congress, specifically.

But I think you're right -- I think you're right in speculating that had Steve Scalise and his security detail had not been there, these guys would have been sitting ducks. As --

GLENN: Now, Steve has a detail. And we're trying to find this. We can't find that he is in the line of succession. Isn't he like fifth or something in line?

MIKE: I'm not sure that he is, beyond being a member of Congress. I think he has a security detail because of his position as Whip, rather than based on his place in the line of succession.

GLENN: For people who don't know who the Whip is, can you explain who the majority whip is.

MIKE: Sure. Sure. The majority whip has the job of whipping votes into line. It's his job to track where the votes are going to head on particular pieces of legislation that are important.

GLENN: So if you watch House of Cards, he's the guy with the -- or, with the Congress, map of Congress in his office. And he's counting the votes.

MIKE: Yes, that's right. His job is to count votes and to figure out where everybody is on the issue and to try to whip people into line.

GLENN: Mike, what's your counsel for people today who are in the media and are looking to fill time, and the speculation? What's your counsel for those in the media and those at home who have -- you know, words are not bullets. But we are in a different time period in our country.

And what is your advice on all the way to the White House? How should we be looking at this today?

MIKE: Well, first and foremost, I think you're right to counsel people not to speculate as to what the motive might have been, as to who the shooter was or what prompted them to do this. Secondly, I think this is always a sobering reminder that words of reconciliation are always in order. You'll never regret being kind. Never regret uttering words that are meant to bring people together, rather than tear them apart and inflame them.

And finally, if you're a person who prays, as I do -- and I know you do -- we should all pray for those involved and for the victims and their families.

GLENN: Is this going to change things on Capitol Hill, Mike?

MIKE: Gosh, I fear that it might. This -- this congressional baseball game is a great tradition. It raises money for charity. It brings people together from across party lines. I'm not part of a team because that would be a severe disservice to the team. But I have a lot of friends who are. And have always enjoyed listening to their updates about how their practices are going, about who is expected to win in a particular year.

I would hate for that tradition to die. And I would -- I would certainly, more broadly hate for events like this to cause people to have to live in fear. It's a very sad thing.

GLENN: This is not a well-publicized practice. I mean, people in that area do know about the it became. They do know people are practicing. But it strikes me as this wasn't -- there was some homework involved in this. It wasn't just a random guy who just happened to be in the neighborhood and thought, "Oh, I wonder who these guys are."

MIKE: That's what it sounds like. We're still piecing this together. But I heard my friend, Ron DeSantis, congressman from Florida, say earlier today that he was approached as he was leaving the ballpark by someone who asked specifically, "Is this where the Republicans practice or the Democrats?"

And I think he's wondering about whether that method -- somebody knew at least that there were members of Congress playing there. And it appears that he did.

We don't know for sure whether that was issued. We're asking that question. But one could speculate that when someone shows up and does something horrific like this, that they might know what was happening.

GLENN: Senator Mike Lee from Washington. Our prayers and thoughts are with you and everybody on Capitol Hill today.

MIKE: Thanks so much, Glenn.

GLENN: You bet.

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