Donald Trump’s First Post-Election Press Conference Was a Complete Disaster

He threatened Dems, sparred with reporters, and called out Republican losers.

In his first public remarks after Tuesday’s midterm elections, President Donald Trump appeared notably despondent, at times sparring with reporters over a range of questions, including Democrats’ new power in the Lower Chamber to investigate his administration. 

Though he made a point of expressing a desire to work across the aisle legislatively, Trump also directly threatened Democrats with retaliatory measures if they opened investigations into his doings. “They can play that game, but we can play it better,” he said. 

The threat came as Democrats, once they take control of the House of Representatives, are likely to launch probes into a wide range of scandals they have long sought information about—topics might include Trump’s personal finances, his much-maligned Puerto Rico hurricane response, and nepotism in the White House.

Trump also repeatedly asserted on Wednesday that Republican candidates who lost on Tuesday were at fault, at least in part, because they had declined to publicly “embrace” him. This suggestion was a continuation of Trump’s long-held framing of the midterms as a referendum on him personally. In one particularly strange part of his speech, Trump read from a list of losing GOP candidates. 

“Too bad Mike,” he said referring to Rep. Mike Coffman’s failed reelection bid.

Speaking on Rep. Mia Love’s loss, Trump claimed the Utah congressman “gave me no love.” “Too bad.”

Rep. Ryan Costello, who announced in March that he would not run for reelection, slammed Trump for blaming Republicans who, like him, chose to retire or distance themselves from the president.

In other tense moments, Trump attacked reporters in the room, labeling the media with his signature motto, “the enemy of the people.” When one reporter asked about Trump’s self-identification as a “nationalist,” the president cut her off and labeled her question “racist.”

Listen to our journalists explain all the twists and turns of Election Day, and what comes next for America, on this special episode of the Mother Jones Podcast:

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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