President Donald Trump on Wednesday trashed losing Republican candidates who distanced themselves from him during the midterm elections.
“Mia Love gave me no love, but then she lost,” Trump said at a White House news conference of the Utah Republican who failed in her House re-election bid on Tuesday. “Too bad.”
Those who didn’t want the president around “did very poorly,” Trump said.
Retiring Rep. Ryan Costello, R-Pa., fired back at Trump on behalf of his colleagues.
It wasn’t just fellow Republicans who drew Trump’s ire Wednesday, as he engaged in a series of testy exchanges with reporters from various news outlets, including NBC, at a free-wheeling press conference that ran for nearly an hour and a half.
Trump repeatedly blamed the media for sowing division in the nation, pitting reporters against other Americans, said he couldn’t understand the accents of foreign reporters and accused National Public Radio’s Yamiche Alcindor of asking “such a racist question” when she wondered whether white nationalists might be emboldened by his self-identification as a “nationalist.”
The news conference wasn’t entirely dominated by media clashes. When he was asked whether Vice President Mike Pence would be his running mate for the 2020 presidential campaign, Trump turned to Pence, who was in the audience, and asked if he would join the ticket. Pence quickly agreed.
The main lesson he learned from the midterms, he said, was “I think people like me.”
Though Republicans lost control of the House Tuesday night, Trump portrayed the midterms as a “tremendous” success because the GOP picked up several Senate seats — against the headwinds of historical precedent.
He said Republicans in the House “dramatically over-performed” expectations. And he even framed the loss of the chamber as a victory for him.
But he also warned that if Democrats try to investigate him, Senate Republicans will do the same to them, producing a stalemate. And he said that he would not work with them on policy if they investigate his administration.
“If they do that then all it is is just a war-like posture,” he said.