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Trump hails GOP wins in spirited news conference; Pelosi promises 'oversight'

By Nicholas Sakelaris
Trump hails GOP wins in spirited news conference; Pelosi promises 'oversight'
President Donald Trump gets a sea of hands wanting to ask questions Wednesday during a press conference at the White House a day after the nationwide midterm elections. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 7 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump said Wednesday Republicans "defied history" with election wins in the Senate, and that he's hopeful to work with a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives.

Trump made the remarks Wednesday afternoon in a news conference at the White House. He touted GOP gains, saying 9 of the 11 candidates he campaigned for won their seats -- and overcame "very hostile media coverage."

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"History will see what a good job we did in the final couple of weeks," he said.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who's now in the running for House speaker, gave a counter speech -- touting healthcare, especially women's reproductive healthcare, as the most influential issue driving Democratic voters.

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"When it comes to healthcare, all politics is personal. Voters delivered a resounding mandate about medicare, medicaid and preexisting conditions," Pelosi told reporters Wednesday. "We will strive for bipartisanship. We believe we have a responsibility to seek common ground. Where we can, we will stand our ground."

Trump pointed to various races as achievements for his administration, including Mike DeWine winning the Ohio governor's race after discouraging poll numbers. If the midterm vote was a referendum on the Trump administration, he said he feels "well received" by the country.

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"Just look at the results," he said. "I went up there and did a rally and they have now a great governor."

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Republicans gained at least two seats in the Senate and might get up to four. Trump said it shows Americans support low taxes, low regulations, low crime and strong borders. He also said if there's bipartisan cooperation, Congress can pass a "tremendous amount of legislation."

The president named several Republican candidates who didn't "embrace" him or have his support. Most of them lost.

"I'm not sure if I should be happy or sad. Whether it's me or what we stand for but what we stand for meant a lot to most people," Trump said.

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The GOP won some toss-up races in state gubernatorial elections and expanded its majority in the Senate, while ceding control of the House.

"We had to jump over gerrymandered lines all over the country," Pelosi said. "It's about the grassroots operations. All of these groups that care about healthcare."

The new Democratic majority could lead to new inquiries into Trump's administration on issues like Russia and his tax returns. He told reporters he won't release the returns because he's under audit.

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"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," Trump tweeted earlier. "Two can play that game!"

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Pelosi said her party's goal is to unify the country, but didn't rule out additional Trump investigations.

"We have a responsibility for oversight," she said.

Trump said he would support Pelosi as the Democrats' House leader, adding that she shares a love for the United States and is a hard worker.

Trump also addressed concerns about regulating large tech companies, particularly social media firms like Facebook and Google.

"I'm one that really likes free speech. I am a big believer," he said. "When you start regulating a lot of bad things can happen. I would certainly like to talk with the Democrats if they want to do that."

One reporter asked if Trump plans to ask Vice President Mike Pence to be his running mate again for 2020. Trump jokingly asked Pence, who was in the room, to raise his right hand and swear to it. He said Pence said "yes."

Trump also shouted down several reporters in the room on some questions, saying they were "rude."

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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum surrounded by wife R. Jai Gillum (R) and running mate Chris King (C) gives his concession speech to supporters in Tallahassee, Fla. Republican Candidate Ron DeSantis defeated Gillum in the Florida governor race. Photo By Joe Reilly/UPI | License Photo

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