Gunman who shot congressman had history of anti-GOP activity

FILE - In this April 17, 2012, photo, James Hodgkinson of Belleville protests outside of the United States Post Office in Downtown Belleville, Ill. A government official says the suspect in the Virginia shooting that injured Rep. Steve Scalise and several others has been identified Hodgkinson. (Derik Holtmann/Belleville News-Democrat, via AP)

Associated Press file photo < p>

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Monday would not comment on the reported left-leaning political views and anti-Trump sentiment that James T. Hodgkinson displayed before he opened fire on a Republican baseball practice, critically injuring Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

"There’s obviously an investigation that’s ongoing and it would be highly inappropriate to stand up here and determine the exact nature of the cause while that investigation is happening," Spicer said during an off-camera press gaggle at the White House. "I think that it would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing investigation in terms of the motives until investigators have an opportunity to do their job."

Scalise, R-Jefferson, was among five people injured during the early Wednesday morning attack. He remains in a Washington, D.C., hospital in serious condition. Hodgkinson, of Illinois, was killed in a shoot-out with police. 

Authorities have been investigating Hodgkinson's social media posts and personal items. But speculation already has mounted about his staunch support of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who lost the Democratic presidential nomination to Hillary Clinton, and his vocal opposition to President Donald Trump.

MedStar Washington Hospital Center said Scalise underwent a fourth procedure on Saturday but continues to show signs of improvement. His condition was upgraded from critical to serious.

"He is more responsive, and is speaking with his loved ones," the hospital's most recent update read.

On Sunday, Scalise's official Twitter account released a Father's Day message, saying that the day had special meaning for his family following the shooting.

"Take the time to be close with the ones you love," it read.

Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter, @elizabethcrisp.