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Daniel Dale @ddale8
, 79 tweets, 10 min read Read on Twitter
Trump begins: "It was a big day yesterday, incredible day. And last night the Republican Party defied history to expand our Senate majority while significantly beating expectations in the House." They did not significantly beat expectations in the House.
Trump says they did well in the "midtown" election, then says, "and midterm."
Trump: "The candidates that I supported" had "tremendous success." He is pointing to the candidates he had rallies for. Left unsaid: the vulnerable House Republicans did not want him to have rallies for them.
Trump says they did great despite very unfair media coverage and Democrats' big money from special interests. Though Democrats did have big-donor money, as did the GOP, the difference this year was big money from Democratic small donors.
This is the expected Trump: concede no defeat, admit no error, proclaim tremendous victory always.
In the House, Trump says, they overcame "a historic number of retirements." Left unsaid: there were so many GOP retirements in part because incumbents knew this election would be bad.
A thing Obama did post-midterms is acknowledge that he had lost the faith of some of his voters. Trump is doing no such acknowledgement of long-Republican voters who went D in the suburbs or PA/WI/MI.
Trump brings up Oprah campaigning for Abrams, makes sure to point out again that she allegedly used to like him: "I don't know if she likes me anymore, but that's OK. She used to."
Trump gives partial credit for the Senate victories to the Kavanaugh confirmation process, saying, "Tremendous energy was given to the Republican Party."
!!! Trump is mocking defeated Republicans who distanced themselves from him: "Mia Love gave me no love. And she lost. Too bad. Sorry about that, Mia."
This is both very Trump and truly wild. Trump is bitterly arguing, against all evidence, that House Republicans would have done better if they hadn't run away from him: "Peter Roskam didn't want the embrace. Erik Paulsen didn't want the embrace."
Trump also criticized Colorado's Coffman and Virginia's Comstock for distancing themselves from him. There is no question that he was the reason they got trounced.
Trump praises Pelosi: "She works very hard, and she works long and hard...I give her a lot of credit..." He says he hopes they can work together on various issues.
Trump also name-checked Carlos Curbelo in this criticism list, slightly mispronouncing his name.
Trump says Dems winning the House is good because now "the Democrats will come to us with a plan for infrastructure, with a plan for health care...and we'll negotiate." He spent the entire last month saying the Dems' health plans would kick citizens off their health care.
Trump warns House Dems that Republicans will investigate them if they try to investigate against him: "They can play that game, but we can play it better. Because we have a thing called the United States Senate. And a lot of very questionable things were done."
Trump: You can't "simultaneously" work in a bipartisan way and investigate me; I won't do both; and if you try to investigate me it'll be good for me politically. "Because I think I'm better at that game than they are."
Trump says they have a lot in common on infrastructure. Also, both parties want to "do something" on health care, so they can work on that. (They want to do basically opposite things on health care.)
Trump calls on Democrats to "put partisanship aside" to keep his "economic miracle" going.
As usual, Trump gives the first question to Fox News.
Asked if he expects investigations on everything from his tax returns to his cellphone use, Trump says, "If that happens, we're going to do the same thing. And government comes to a halt. And I would blame them."
Asked if he really believes they can work in a bipartisan way, Trump says, "There's a very good chance." Asked if he'll have to compromise in ways that'll hurt him, he cites prescription drug prices and other issues as areas where he and Dems agree.
Trump says he speaks to Democrats "all the time," and "they agree that the wall is necessary." The vast majority of Democrats do not agree the wall is necessary.
Trump says that Democrats basically approved a wall - "same thing" - when they approved the Bush-era Secure Fence Act, which was for a fence.
Trump won't comment on the future of Sessions and Rosenstein, saying, "I'd rather answer that at a little bit different time." He says he's looking at "different people for different positions," saying that's common post-midterms. He says he's "looking at" the Zinke situation.
Asked if he'll try to prevent Dems from getting his tax returns, Trump says, "Well, look, as I have told you, they're under audit. They have been for a long time...Complex...People wouldn't understand them...people don't understand tax returns."
The president is suggesting that he can't be transparent about his finances because Americans are too dumb to understand them.
Trump says "nobody would" turn over their tax returns when they're "under audit." (The law says Democrats are now able to obtain them no matter their alleged status.)
Trump has not been asked anything about the big House defeat so far.
Challenged with numerous immigration questions from CNN's Acosta, Trump says, "You should let me run the country. You run CNN."
Trump to Acosta after Acosta keeps pressing: "You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn't be working for CNN. You're a very rude person. The way you treat Sarah Huckabee is shouldn't treat people that way."
Reminded of his fearmongering about how a Democratic wave would mean a crime wave and such, Trump tells a reporter, "Are you trying to be him (Acosta)?" He explains that he said these things "because they're very weak on crime." He cuts off the reporter.
Pressed, Trump says he is not pitting Americans against each other. He says, "We won a lot of elections last night."
Asked about the possibility of trying to remove Mueller, Trump says, "I could have ended it any time I wanted. I didn't. And there was no collusion."
Trump asked about voter suppression: "I will give you voter suppression...take a look at the CNN polls, how inaccurate they were. That's called voter suppression." (It is not.) He tells a female reporter repeatedly to "sit down." He adds, "I'm talking to this gentleman."
Asked how he responds to criticism that his campaign message was insulting to minorities, "I don't think it has been at all." Told about the election of two Muslim women and asked if it's a rebuke, he says he doesn't understand the question.
Trump returns to his criticism of deceased Republican senator John McCain for his dramatic vote against Obamacare replacement. He claims, with his usual odd-and-amazing phrasing, that they actually had it repealed and replaced until they didn't.
Big exchange here: Asked what lesson he took from the results, Trump says, "I think people like me. I think people like the job I'm doing, frankly."
It's striking to me that no one is directly challenging Trump about the big House defeat. Obama was peppered with "what did you screw up, why do you think people dislike you" questions after his midterms.
Trump on the Mueller investigation: "They're wasting a lot of money, but I let it go on." He says he could end it right now but doesn't wanna.
There was one (1) moment, the day before the vote, where Trump professed to have some regrets, telling Sinclair Broadcasting that he could have maybe adopted a softer tone all this time. That's all gone now.
Asked if China or Russia interfered with this election, Trump says, "We're going to make a full report. And unlike the previous administration, we've done a lot of work on that issue."
I think there is some value, no matter the answer, in saying, like, "You're completely ignoring the loss of 30-plus seats in the House, half of them in districts you won. Why do you think these areas have soured on you?"
Trump is told that last night was not a complete victory for him. He says it was "very close to complete victory." He's giving the House defeat the silent treatment.
Told that last night was not a complete victory, Trump says it basically was, then touts the size of his rally crowds in Georgia and Florida which were followed by victories there, then talks about the Senate.
Trump making little sense: "From the standpoint of gridlock...I really believe there's going to be much less gridlock."
RIP imaginary middle-class tax cut: Trump says he doesn't have the votes in the Senate for his imaginary middle-class tax cut.
Trump on coming turnover: "People leave. People leave...I haven't heard about John Kelly, but people's a very exhausting job."
Reminded that people have died during this campaign, and asked if he could lower the temperature and make peace with the media, Trump says, "I would love to see unity and peace and love...we had to wait 'til after the midterms were over."
Trump says that things could get better with the media if the media was better to him.
Trump: The media is "a very divisive thing for our country"; "it really does bring disunity."
Asked which loss last night surprised him most, Trump says, "Nothing surprises me in politics. But there were some losses last night...and victories that were incredible."
Trump is asked by a religious reporter what kind of factor God plays in his life. He says, "God plays a big factor in my life."
Reminded he said that he maybe regretted his harsh tone, Trump: "I'd be very good at a low tone. But when things are done not correctly about have to defend yourself." He says he would be "honoured" if he had a "modest" or "even boring" tone, but has to fight.
Trump to a Japanese reporter: "Where are you from?"
Reporter: "Japan."
Trump: "Say hello to Shinzo."
Reporter, startled: "Yes."
Trump: He probably enjoys the threat of tariffs on his cars.
Reporter, who has accent: (Continues asking question)
Trump: I don't understand you.
Trump touts his progress with North Korea, complains about the media coverage, and it is a rally again except in a softer voice.
Asked by Canadian reporter if he's repaired his relationship with Trudeau, Trump says, "Yes I have. We have a very good relationship."
Asked about the rise in antisemitic incidents and other hate crimes, and asked why he thinks it's happening, Trump says, "It's very sad to see it. I hate to see it." He touts Israeli PM Netanyahu's praise of him, then boasts about how he moved the embassy to Jerusalem.
Asked about healing the divides in the country, Trump touts the strong economy, boasts that China's economy is struggling. (It might be time to take a break from asking him this question over and over.)
Trump falsely claims that his tariffs on China are "taxes that China is paying for us." Americans who are importing Chinese products are paying the taxes.
Trump: "I think I am a great moral leader."
Trump says his endorsement of Pelosi's speakership was not "sarcastic": "I think she deserves it...she's a very capable person...I really believe she deserves that position." (At every campaign rally, he warned that a Pelosi speakership would mean an American apocalypse.)
Trump complains about the press conference: "I come in here as a nice person and I have people jumping out of their seats screaming questions at me."
Trump just says stuff to get himself through the given moment. Asked why he said earlier in this press conference that he can't work with Democrats if they investigate him, why he can't do both at once, Trump says he can absolutely do both at once.
Asked about race-related criticism of his self-description as a nationalist, Trump says three times, "That's such a racist question." That makes no sense.
Trump says he doesn't know if he would have preferred narrowly winning the House, even though he likes winning: "Would I have preferred winning by two or three or four? I would almost have to think about that."
Trump says it's "false" that he used racist language about Black people, as Michael Cohen and...Lil Jon...said.

Trump: "I don't know who Lil Jon is."
Reporter: "He was on The Apprentice."
Trump: Oh okay.
(Here is the Lil Jon story.…)
Trump, asked a clear question from an accented Lebanese reporter, again asks for clarification, mutters that he can't understand the man.
Asked about reports of voter access issues in Georgia and elsewhere, Trump responds, You think that's why the (Democratic) candidates lost?
Trump: "I'm the one that really likes free speech. A lot of people don't understand that."
Trump asked if he'll indeed sign an exec order trying to revoke birthright citizenship: "We are looking at it very seriously." He won't say yes, though this was a promise he made.
Trump again: "Midterm elections are disasters for sitting presidents...this has been an incredibly look at the races." Asked about suburban female voters, he talks over the question.
Asked if he thinks right-wing white extremism is a problem, Trump says he does. He adds that he believes all extremism is a problem, but also that kind.
Trump on Heitkamp: "They said Heidi could not be beaten." Nobody credible said that, everybody knew she was very vulnerable.
Trump says, "I was very well-received by this great country." He keeps talking over a female reporter's question about female voters.
Asked how he can improve the tone in the country, Trump says, "It begins with the media." He adds that the media used to be called "the press."
Trump has left the room.
This reminds me of when Doug Ford told me a protester was racist. He explained that angry opposition to Fords was racist, because you can be racist against anyone -- fat people, alcoholics, "You can be racist against people that eat little red apples."
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