WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Republicans “defied history” during the midterms, but also sparred with reporters during a contentious news conference Wednesday.
Below is a recap of what the president spoke about. Click here to watch the news conferece.
Meeting with North Korea
Trump says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s meeting with his North Korean counterpart was postponed but is being rescheduled.
Pompeo had been scheduled to meet with Kim Yong Chol in New York on Thursday.
Trump says he’s likely to meet with the North Korea leader early next year and there’s “no rush” to engaging in denuclearization talks with Pyongyang.
Trump met Kim Jong Un in June for a landmark meeting in Singapore, where the two leaders agreed on vague goals of denuclearization. There’s been little progress since then.
North Korea has continued a yearlong halt in weapon tests but wants U.S. sanctions eased. In recent days, North Korea criticized the U.S. for its continued support of sanctions and hinted it may resume nuclear development.
Trump says he’d “love to take the sanctions off” but North Korea has to make concessions, too.
Middle-class tax cut
Trump says he would consider raising other tax rates to pay for a middle-class tax cut.
Trump said at a Wednesday press conference that if Democrats offer an idea for tax cuts he would work with them, even if it would require “some adjustment” to other rates.
The president did not say what any changes to rates could look like but said, “I would certainly be willing to do a little bit.” He says Democrats would need to propose a plan, given that he would need bipartisan support in the Senate.
Trump said during the midterm campaign that he would offer a plan for a 10 percent middle income tax cut. But he has not provided any details. Republicans passed a massive tax cut package last year.
2020 running mate
Trump says Pence will be his running mate in 2020, impromptu confirmation that could give sign makers a head start on printing political signs for the next presidential election.
In the middle of a news conference at the White House on Wednesday, the Republican president was unexpectedly asked if Pence would be on the ticket.
Trump said he hadn’t asked Pence yet but then turned to the vice president and said: “Mike, will you be my running mate? Will you?”
Pence acknowledged that he would.
President vs. press
Trump has sparred with reporters at his post-election news conference, ordering several to sit down and telling another he’s a “rude, terrible” person.
He told yet another reporter he’s “not a fan of yours, either.”
The president’s mood turned sour Wednesday after reporters pressed him on why he referred to a migrant caravan making its way to the U.S. on foot through Mexico as an “invasion.” Trump ramped up his anti-immigrant rhetoric against the caravan in the final days of the midterm elections.
Trump was also pressed on why his campaign aired an ad featuring a Mexican immigrant convicted of killing American police officers and linking the man’s actions to the caravan.
Several television networks pulled the ad after airing it or declined to air it at all.
Changes in leadership
Trump says he’s happy with “most” of his Cabinet as he suggests changes may be coming.
Trump said at a Wednesday press conference that he is “looking at different people for different positions,” adding that “it is very common after the midterms.”
Asked specifically about the future of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Trump says, “I’d rather answer that at a little bit different time.”
Trump has long been frustrated with Sessions over his recusal from the Russia investigation. Rosenstein’s future appeared uncertain after reports that he discussed secretly recording Trump.
On Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Trump says he wants to “study whatever is being said.” Trump adds that he’s doing an “excellent job.” Zinke faces a series of inquiries into his conduct.
A warning to Dems
rump is warning House Democrats about spending the remaining years of his presidency investigating him and the administration.
Trump said at a post-election news conference Wednesday that Democrats and Republicans should set aside partisanship to work together for the American people.
Democrats won back control of the House. Many have threatened to use the subpoena power they will gain in January to investigate Trump and administration actions.
Trump says he’s been hearing about investigations since he began running for president and refers to it as “investigation fatigue.”
He says he will respond in kind if House Democrats flood his administration with subpoenas and government will come to a halt.
Trump adds that Democrats have “nothing, zero” on him.
Trump is calling out Republican candidates who apparently did not support him enough and lost congressional seats in Tuesday’s elections.
At a news conference in the White House East Room on Wednesday, Trump crowed that Republicans held control of the Senate and then took aim at members of the House, where the GOP lost.
Rep. Mike Coffman in Colorado blames his loss on resentment toward Trump in his Denver-area district. The president responded: “Too bad, Mike.”
As for Utah Rep. Mia Love’s loss Tuesday, Trump said: “Mia Love gave me no love, and she lost,” adding, “Sorry about that, Mia.”
Trump says his vigorous campaigning stopped a so-called “blue wave,” ”if there ever was such a thing.”
The GOP is expected to add to its Senate edge, but Democrats regained control of the House.
Trump’s positive outlook
Trump says Republicans “defied history” in the midterms as he seeks to take credit for expected Republican gains in the Senate while minimizing House losses.
Trump discussed the election results at a White House press conference on Wednesday. He says Republicans “dramatically outperformed historical precedents.”
The GOP is expected to add to its Senate edge, but Democrats regained control of the House. The mixed verdict in the first nationwide election of Trump’s presidency showed the limits of his hardline immigration rhetoric in today’s political landscape.
Midterm losses are typical for the party in the White House. Trump stressed the anticipated Republican pickups in the Senate and said the GOP had surpassed expectations in the House, citing the high number of retirements.
Pelosi as next speaker
Trump says Democrat Nancy Pelosi “deserves” to be the next House speaker.
Democrats won back control of the chamber in Tuesday’s election and Pelosi would be in line to be elected speaker. The California Democrat was the nation’s first female speaker from 2007-2011. But a number of House Democratic candidates have said they won’t support her for the top role.
Trump said Wednesday that “if they give her a hard time, perhaps we will add some Republican votes. She has earned this great honor!”
House Democrats meet later this month to elect party leaders and Pelosi is expected to win most of those votes. But being elected speaker in January requires a majority of House votes.
Pelosi has been up front about not wanting to pursue impeaching Trump.