November 8, 2018
You win some; you lose some—that is, unless you are U.S. President Donald Trump. Never one to admit defeat, even in the face of a major setback, The New York Times reported that the president “wasted little time on Wednesday morning trying to frame his party’s election losses as a win,” even though Democrats had seized control of the House of Representatives.
In a string of tweets on November 7—this one, at 6:21 a.m.—the POTUS was self-congratulatory and smug about his prospects, saying, “Received so many Congratulations from so many on our Big Victory last night, including from foreign nations (friends) that were waiting me out, and hoping, on Trade Deals. Now we can all get back to work and get things done!”
At the same time, President Trump quickly went on offense against the newly elected Democratic House–threatening to retaliate if the opposition uses its new subpoena power to investigate him for corruption and obstruction of justice—in what the Times characterized as “an early foreshadowing of the bitter partisan warfare that could dominate the next two years.”
At 8:04 a.m., he tweeted: “If the Democrats think they are going to waste Taxpayer Money investigating us at the House level, then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of Classified Information, and much else, at the Senate level. Two can play that game!”
He touted the GOP victory in the Senate, where Republicans defeated three Democratic incumbents (in Indiana, North Dakota and Missouri) and were leading in Florida and Montana, while losing only one of their own seats in Nevada. If they hold on to their current leads, the Times reported, Republicans will increase their majority in the upper chamber from 51 seats to 55, giving them far more maneuvering room as they confirm judges and other appointments”by the president.
However, the loss of the House represents a major blow to the president and his supporters: As of Wednesday morning, Democrats had picked up 26 seats with 23 races still to be called—giving them the subpoena power that Trump dreads, as well as the opportunity to refuse to proffer any resources for a wall on the southern border.
Among other things, the Times reported, “Democrats likely will demand the release of tax returns that he has kept secret, look into his business dealings, and reopen the House investigation into any ties between Mr. Trump’s team and Russia during the 2016 presidential election.”
“We’ll fill in the gaps on the Russia investigations,” Representative Eric Swalwell, a Democrat from California and member of the House Intelligence Committee, said on NBC News on Wednesday morning. “The American people will see his tax returns, not because of any voyeuristic interest, but because they should know if he is corrupt. And we will look at the cashing in of access to the Oval Office and that has been concerning and his financial entanglements overseas.”
Even more dangerous to the president, a Democratic House has the power to impeach him—even if legislators cannot muster the two-thirds vote required for conviction in the Senate.
Research contact: @peterbakernyt