Trump tries to spin Republican losses: GOP 'defied history'

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.

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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.

President Trump speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday. (Photo: Evan Vucci/AP)
President Trump speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday. (Photo: Evan Vucci/AP)

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.


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