WASHINGTON — Resigned to the loss of one-party control over Washington in Tuesday’s elections, President Donald Trump stared down the prospect of endless House investigations, stymied policy efforts and fresh questions about the resilience of his unorthodox political coalition. He celebrated GOP success hanging on to the Senate and distanced himself from any blame.
Trump stayed quiet for much of election night as Republicans maintained their hold on the Senate and Democrats captured control of the House — a shift all but certain to redefine his presidency. Late in the evening, he offered a brief tweet that simply read: “Tremendous success tonight. Thank you to all!”
Trump called House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, a conversation that her office said included congratulations and a nod to her pitch for bipartisanship.
Widely viewed as a referendum on Trump’s presidency, Tuesday’s results offered a split decision that revealed deep tensions in the American electorate — distances that could easily widen during two years of divided control. Trump’s aggressive campaign blitz, which paid off in some key victories, suggests he is likely to continue leaning into the fray.
Control of the House gives Democrats the ability to launch investigations into the president and stifle his agenda. But White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders minimized the magnitude of Democratic gains.
“Maybe you get a ripple, but I certainly don’t think that there’s a blue wave,” she told reporters, pointing to several early Republican wins.
As for Republicans retaining control of the Senate, she called it “a huge moment and victory for the president.”
White House aides called on Democrats to work with Republicans in the next Congress.
Said White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, “I don’t know that there will be much of an appetite for Democrat lawmakers to spend all of their time, or most of their time or even a fraction of their time investigating, instigating, trying to impeach and subpoena people.”
In addition to his conversation with Pelosi, Trump called Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican
House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, as well as a number of candidates he backed during the race, the White House said.
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