AFP-JijiWASHINGTON (AFP-Jiji) — U.S. President Donald Trump urged Democrats on Wednesday to “put partisanship aside” as he bluntly warned them against using their newfound control of the U.S. House of Representatives to tie up his administration in investigations.
“It was a big day yesterday, an incredible day,” Trump said following Tuesday’s midterm election in which Republicans lost the House but increased their hold on the Senate.
“I think people like the job I’m doing,” Trump told a free-wheeling news conference at the White House which featured several acrimonious exchanges with reporters.
Trump offered an olive branch to Democrats, praising their leader and likely next House speaker Nancy Pelosi and saying, “I really believe that we have the chance to get along really well with the Democrats.”
“It is time for members of both parties to join together, put partisanship aside, and keep the American economic miracle going strong.”
Trump cited health care and infrastructure as areas where the two parties could work together.
But the president warned he would not hesitate to retaliate if House Democrats use their committee powers in the next Congress to investigate members of his administration or his personal finances.
“They can play that game,” he said. “All you are going to do is end up in back and forth and back and forth.
“I think that I am better at that game than they are actually,” he said.
“Or we can work together,” he said, adding that “it really could be a beautiful bipartisan type of situation.”
Pelosi, who is likely to return as House speaker despite opposition from some centrist Democrats, promised that the party will serve as a counterweight — but also work with Trump.
“Today is more than about Democrats and Republicans. It’s about restoring the Constitution’s checks and balances to the Trump administration,” Pelosi said.
But she added: “A Democratic Congress will work for solutions that bring us together, because we have all had enough of division.”
Like in the 2016 presidential election, rural areas went heavily for Republicans on Tuesday while urban areas broke towards the Democrats.
More women than men voted for Democrats, according to exit polls, particularly white suburban women, and the new House will feature a record number of women lawmakers.