A day after the GOP lost control of the House, and seven governor seats across the nation, President Trump explicitly threatened Democrats gearing up to investigate his administration, mocked Republican candidates who refused to embrace him and lost, and engaged in vitriolic exchanges with reporters.
Just another day in the reality TV Trump presidency.
An unhinged Trump — who declared that the midterm elections were a referendum on his own presidency — refused to acknowledge that he suffered any losses on Tuesday night.
He spent more than an hour during an extraordinary news conference scorching his perceived rivals while showing no signs of self-reflection about any negative impact he had on the midterms.
“I thought it was a very close to complete victory,” Trump told reporters.
Trump and his party did hold the Senate, gaining at least two seats, and he dispatched his top aides to the morning shows to boast that he had “made history” due to his marathon campaigning for GOP candidates.
He then named and shamed GOP House candidates who refused to embrace him, sending a not-so-subtle warning that fellow Republicans who cross him will suffer consequences, even while cheekily saying he didn’t hold their disloyalty against them.
“Mia Love. I saw Mia Love, and she would call me all the time to help her with a hostage situation, being held hostage in Venezuela,” Trump said, referring to the release of Utahn Josh Holt, who had been held by the Venezuelan government. “But Mia Love gave me no love. And she lost. Too bad. Sorry about that, Mia.”
Republicans Carlos Curbelo of Florida, Mike Coffman of Colorado, Barbara Comstock of Virginia, Peter Roskam of Illinois, Erik Paulsen of Minnesota, Bob Hugin of New Jersey and John Faso of New York also got called out.
Trump engaged in more direct confrontations with the media, tussling with CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta at the news conference, calling him a “rude, terrible person” after he asked during the news conference about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
“You are a very rude person,” Trump told Acosta, who had talked over the president. “The way you treat Sarah Huckabee is horrible, and the way you treat other people is horrible. You shouldn’t treat people that way.”
As Acosta attempted to ask follow-up questions, a White House aide attempted to pull the microphone away from him, and a tense situation ensued.
“I’ll tell you what, CNN should be ashamed of itself, having you working for them,” Trump said to Acosta.
While Republicans had slight gains in the senate, they lost at least 28 seats in the House, with several victories occurring in districts Trump carried by double digits in 2016.
Democrats made substantial gains at the gubernatorial level, winning control of the governor’s offices from Republicans in Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico and Wisconsin.
Republicans won two of the biggest prizes of the election in Florida and Ohio, keeping both states under the GOP banner.
Still, a majority of Americans will have a Democratic governor come January.