By Philip Rucker and Josh Dawsey / The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump declared Wednesday that the “Republican Party defied history” in the midterm elections, despite Democrats seizing the House majority, and claimed that his “vigorous campaigning stopped the blue wave.”
Addressing reporters at a White House news conference, Trump claimed credit for helping grow the GOP’s Senate majority and said his party beat expectations “significantly” in the House.
“We did this in spite of a very dramatic fundraising disadvantage driven by Democrats’ wealthy donors and special interest and very hostile media coverage, to put it mildly,” Trump said from the formal East Room of the White House.
Trump tried to put a positive spin on the mixed verdict voters delivered in the first national referendum on his presidency. Democrats captured the House in Tuesday’s elections by leveraging voter fury with Trump, especially in the nation’s suburbs and among women and minority voters. That ensures a change in power on Capitol Hill, dividing government in Washington for the first time in Trump’s presidency.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who is poised to reclaim the speaker’s gavel she lost eight years ago, said her party’s victory was about “restoring the Constitution’s checks and balances to the Trump administration.”
Democrats are planning to use their subpoena power to investigate corruption in the administration as well as the president’s personal finances and conduct in office.
In a morning tweet, Trump warned House Democrats not to “waste Taxpayer Money” on probes of his administration and said Senate Republicans would respond by investigating Democrat lawmakers for their alleged infractions.
“If the Democrats think they are going to waste Taxpayer Money investigating us at the House level, then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of Classified Information, and much else, at the Senate level,” Trump said on Twitter. “Two can play that game!”
Trump declared a “Big Victory” in the midterm elections, despite the Democratic takeover of the House, and showed none of the humility his predecessors had conveyed at similar junctures. former president Barack Obama called his 2010 midterm loses a “shellacking,” while former president George W. Bush called his party’s 2006 defeat a “thumpin’.”
Trump wrote in a Wednesday morning tweet, “Received so many Congratulations from so many on our Big Victory last night, including from foreign nations (friends) that were waiting me out, and hoping, on Trade Deals. Now we can all get back to work and get things done!”
In a later tweet, Trump continued his with-me-or-against-me political posture from the campaign. “Those that worked with me in this incredible Midterm Election, embracing certain policies and principles, did very well. Those that did not, say goodbye!