Former President Barack Obama reached out to Sen. Jeff Flake Wednesday morning in the wake of the shooting at the GOP’s congressional baseball game practice to extend his "best wishes and prayers" for the victims, the Arizona Republican said.
Flake was among the Republicans gathered on an Alexandria, Va., baseball field when a shooter opened fire, wounding House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and several others. Obama maintained a good working relationship with Flake, who flew out to Arizona with the former president in 2011 after the shooting of then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).
"This is particularly raw for those of us in Arizona," Flake told reporters of Tuesday’s shooting, adding that Obama asked him to let Scalise know the former president is thinking about him. "He went through this a couple of times," Flake added of Obama.
Obama called no other lawmaker besides Flake and did so as a friend, according to a person familiar with the call. The former president and Flake did not talk about gun control or any policy issues, focusing only on the Republican senator’s condition after the shooting.
Edward-Isaac Dovere contributed to this report.