Trump to Democrats in post-Election Day Statement: We Can Play Investigation Game Better

Echoing Netanyahu, Trump says 'they've got nothing because there is nothing' ■ President portrays election results as 'incredible day' for his Republicans

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as CNN's Jim Acosta, standing at right, listens, during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, November 7, 2018, in Washington.
Evan Vucci,AP

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday portrayed the midterm election results as "an incredible day" for his Republicans despite a Democratic takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives that will lead to greater restraints on his administration. 

At a White House news conference, Trump argued that Republicans beat historical odds in Tuesday's elections, saying the party's gains in the U.S. Senate outweighed its loss of the House

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Echoing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's often-used slogan, Trump said of possible investigation into him that "they've got nothing. You know why? Because there is nothing." Trump warned Democrats against opening investigations, saying about "they can play that game but we can play it better." 

He also mocked those Republican candidates who lost their seats after refusing to embrace him on the campaign trail, such as U.S. Representative Barbara Comstock of Virginia.

"It was a big day yesterday, an incredible day," he said in what was only his third formal solo news conference at the White House. "Last night the R party defied history to expand our Senate majority while significantly beating expectations in the House."

Republicans expanded their control of the U.S. Senate, knocking off at least three Democratic incumbents on Tuesday, following a divisive campaign marked by fierce clashes over race and immigration. 

But they lost their majority in the House, a setback for the president after a campaign that became a referendum on his combative leadership. 

The divided power in Congress combined with Trump's expansive view of executive power could herald even deeper political polarization and legislative gridlock in Washington. 

The Democrats will now head House committees that can investigate the president's tax returns, possible business conflicts of interest and any links between his 2016 election campaign and Russia. 

There may be some room, however, for Trump and Democrats to work together on issues with bipartisan support such as a package to improve infrastructure or protections against prescription drug price increases. 

"It really could be a beautiful bipartisan situation," Trump said. 

The president added that he hopes he can work with Congress to get enough money to build his long-promised border wall but that he would not necessarily force a government shutdown over the issue. 

"We need the money to build the wall, the whole wall, not pieces of it," Trump said. "We need the wall, many Democrats know we need the wall, and we're just going to have to see what happens." 

Trump said Nancy Pelosi, who may be the next speaker of the House, had expressed to him in a phone call a desire to work together. But Trump doubted there would be much common ground if Democrats press investigations. 

"You can't do it simultaneously," he said.