Alleged shooter volunteered on Bernie Sanders campaign, Senator 'sickened' by shooting

Sen. Bernie Sanders said Wednesday he is "sickened" by reports that the man who opened fire at a congressional baseball practice had volunteered on his presidential campaign.

Speaking from the White House, Mr Trump also praised the actions of two officers who "took down" the gunman during a shootout.

He is believed by investigators to have been a person "of strong views", the USA official said, without elaborating.

In 18 letters published by the downstate newspaper between May 2010 and September 2012, Hodgkinson kept returning to two key themes.

Suspect in congressional baseball shooting identified

Investigators said they found anti-Trump messages on the shooter's Facebook social media page.

President Trump expressed his thoughts on the shooting.

"A gentleman walked up to us and wanted to know whether there were Republicans or Democrats practising out there", Mr DeSantis told CNN. "Trump, the Climate Change Denier wants to Destroy the Planet", he claimed on May 31.

"It's Time to Destroy Trump & Co.", the post said.

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In March 2011, he hit on a similar theme, adding that Democrats and Republicans alike had done nothing to fix the tax system and writing, "The only way to straighten out this country's problems is to tax the rich just like they did for the first 60 years of the income-tax era".

Stocky, with graying hair and a well-trimmed moustache-goatee combination, Hodgkinson was an ardent supporter of Sanders, the feisty hero of the left who nearly defeated Hillary Clinton previous year in a tough fight for the Democratic White House nomination. He did not dispute reports - and the senator's confirmation in a statement - that Hodgkinson had been a volunteer.

The Washington Post reports Hodgkinson owned a home inspection business, but his license expired in November and was not renewed.

In the hours after the attack in Alexandria, Virginia, a picture began to emerge of an attacker with a mostly minor arrest record who worked as a home inspector and despised the Republican Party.

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In 2006, Hodgkinson was arrested for domestic battery for assaulting a woman and subsequently aiming a shotgun at her boyfriend. The charges were later dismissed.

He pleaded guilty to a 2007 speeding offense, driving 15 to 20 miles per hour over the limit, according to court records in Jefferson County, Illinois.

According to his Facebook profile, Hodgkinson went to Belleville Township High School West and studied flight training at Southwestern Illinois College. "Many, many, many thousands of people came through the Sanders campaign offices".

Sanders said in a statement that Hodgkinson "apparently" worked as a volunteer for his presidential campaign a year ago.

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Charles Orear, 50, a restaurant manager from St. Louis, said in an interview Wednesday that he became friendly with Hodgkinson during their work together in Iowa on Sanders's campaign.

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