Pres­i­dent ap­peals to Democrats in house

The Australian - - WORLD - CAMERON STE­WART

WASH­ING­TON: Don­ald Trump has called for a new bi­par­ti­san era with Democrats in congress but warned that he would re­vert to a “war­like pos­ture” if they launched in­ves­ti­ga­tions against him.

In his first ex­pan­sive com­ments af­ter the mid-term elec­tions, the Pres­i­dent threat­ened to hit Democrats with tit-for-tat in­ves­ti­ga­tions by the Repub­li­can-con­trolled Se­nate if they tried to start in­ves­ti­ga­tions into him in the new Demo­crat-con­trolled House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

His com­ments came a day af­ter Democrats won the house for the first time since they lost it in 2010, while the Repub­li­cans in­creased their ma­jor­ity in the Se­nate.

Mr Trump de­scribed the midterm elec­tion re­sults as a “close to com­plete vic­tory” for Repub­li­cans de­spite los­ing con­trol of the house. “This has been an in­cred­i­ble suc­cess­ful out­come,” he said.

Repub­li­cans had de­fied his­tory by in­creas­ing their ma­jor­ity in the Se­nate and their loss of about 28 seats in the house was “sig­nifi- cantly” bet­ter than ex­pec­ta­tions.

In an of­ten com­bat­ive press con­fer­ence, Mr Trump hoped for a “beau­ti­ful bi­par­ti­san sit­u­a­tion” with the new house, in­clud­ing its likely speaker, Nancy Pelosi.

He wanted to ne­go­ti­ate with Ms Pelosi and her lead­er­ship team to re­build in­fra­struc­ture, lower the costs of pre­scrip­tion drugs and re­fash­ion trade pol­icy.

“I give her a great deal of credit for what she’s done,” he said of the Demo­crat leader who has been one of his favourite tar­gets.

“Hope­fully we can all work to­gether to keep on de­liv­er­ing for the Amer­i­can peo­ple.

“Now we have a much eas­ier path be­cause the Democrats will come to us with a plan for in­fra- struc­ture, a plan for health­care, a plan for what­ever they’re look­ing at, and we’ll ne­go­ti­ate.”

He warned that ne­go­ti­a­tions — and govern­ment — could grind to a halt if Democrats in the house chose to use their ma­jor­ity to launch in­ves­ti­ga­tions into him.

“All you are go­ing to do is end up back and forth for two years … noth­ing will get done,” he said.

If Democrats chose to in­ves­ti­gate him, he said, the Repub­li­can­con­trolled Se­nate would re­tal­i­ate with its own in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

“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 Classi- fied In­for­ma­tion, and much else, at the Se­nate level,” Trump tweeted. “Two can play that game!”

Speak­ing later, he said: “I could see it be­ing ex­tremely good for me po­lit­i­cally be­cause I think I’m bet­ter at that game than they are, ac­tu­ally, but we’ll find out.”

But Ms Pelosi warned that the Democrats would not be de­terred from in­ves­ti­gat­ing Repub­li­cans or the Pres­i­dent if nec­es­sary. “We have a con­sti­tu­tional re­spon­si­bil­ity to have over­sight, that’s the bal­ance of power … and that’s the path we will go down,” she said.

She said the Democrats would en­sure that the Pres­i­dent did not have “unchecked power” in Wash­ing­ton and that congress was not a “rub­ber stamp” for Mr Trump.

But Ms Pelosi said she also wanted a bi­par­ti­san re­la­tion­ship with Mr Trump, not­ing that she had en­joyed a good re­la­tion­ship with Repub­li­can pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush. “We will strive for bi­par­ti­san­ship … we be­lieve we have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to seek com­mon ground when we can,” she said.

Mr Trump claimed his “vig­or­ous cam­paign­ing stopped the blue wave”, al­low­ing Repub­li­cans to in­crease their con­trol of the Se­nate and lim­it­ing their losses in the house. “We did this in spite of a very dra­matic fundrais­ing dis­ad­van­tage driven by Democrats’ wealthy donors and spe­cial in­ter­est and very hos­tile me­dia cov­er­age, to put it mildly,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.