President Trump on Wednesday said that Republicans “defied history” in the 2018 midterm elections by maintaining control of the Senate and winning a “slew” of governor’s races — despite losing their majority in the House of Representatives.
“It was a big day yesterday,” a somber-sounding Trump said in the East Room of the White House. “The Republican Party defied history to expand our Senate majority while significantly beating expectations in the House.”
“It was very close to a complete victory,” he declared.
The president sought to blame Republican losses on fundraising efforts by wealthy Democratic donors, special interests and “very hostile media coverage.”
Trump said retiring congressmen put Republicans at a disadvantage — but failed to mention that many retired because they didn’t think they could win.
He also said that GOP candidates who decided to stay away from him on the campaign trail did very poorly — singling out Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, by name.
“Mia Love gave me no love and she lost,” Trump said. “Too bad. Sorry about that, Mia.”
Earlier Wednesday, Trump took to Twitter to dismiss those who were critical of the Republican results, and to blast the media.
“Those that worked with me in this incredible Midterm Election, embracing certain policies and principles, did very well,” the president tweeted. “Those that did not, say goodbye! Yesterday was such a very Big Win, and all under the pressure of a Nasty and Hostile Media!
“To any of the pundits or talking heads that do not give us proper credit for this great Midterm Election, just remember two words — FAKE NEWS!” Trump added.
On election night, Trump called both Republican and Democratic leaders, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, to congratulate them on their election night victories.
“I give her a lot of credit,” Trump said of Pelosi. “She’s worked very hard.”
The president said he is hopeful he can work across the aisle with Democrats, on issues such as infrastructure and the environment.
“It really could be a beautiful bipartisan type of situation,” Trump said, adding: “We want beautiful perfect air.”
But the president also warned that if Democrats use their majority in the House to launch investigations into his administration, Republicans will retaliate in the Senate.
“They keep talking about investigations … they’ve got nothing,” Trump said. “They can play this game, but we can play it better.”
The event was the president’s first scheduled open-ended press conference at the White House since February 2017. It is only the second one he’s held with the White House press corps since taking office.
Read more of Yahoo News’ midterm elections coverage:
- House Dems likely to launch wide-ranging probes into Trump administration
- Dems take the House, but Trump voters bolster Republicans in the Senate
- Ted Cruz edges Beto O’Rourke to hold on to Texas Senate seat
- Where does Beto go from here? Hint: he’s not running in 2020.
- Heitkamp loses in pivotal Senate race
- Malfunctions, but not foreign powers, plague midterm elections
- Scott Walker defeated by Democrat Tony Evers in Wisconsin
- Steve King, scourge of immigrants, squeaks out a win
- Pennsylvania Democrats bounce back with strong midterm showing
- Spanberger’s win signals Democratic inroads in Virginia
- Hawley defeats McCaskill in an increasingly red Missouri
- Kris Kobach defeated in Kansas governor’s race
- DeSantis defeats Gillum in racially charged Florida governor’s race
- First Muslim women elected to Congress
- It’s official: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is going to Congress
- Romney easily elected to Senate, but dealing with Trump could prove difficult
- Firebrand Marsha Blackburn retains Tennessee Senate seat for GOP
- Republicans make a big pickup in Indiana Senate race
- Florida passes Amendment 4, restoring voting rights to convicted felons
- Donna Shalala wins Florida House race as 1st-time candidate
- Dems notch first House pickup of the night as Jennifer Wexton wins in Virginia
- Rising star: Democrat Mikie Sherrill wins New Jersey House race
- Complete election night coverage