Trump won’t take blame if GOP loses House
•Facingthe prospect of bruising electoral defeat in congressional elections, President Donald Trump said he won’t accept the blame if his party loses control of the House in November, arguing his campaigning and endorsements have helped Republican candidates.
In a wide-ranging interview three weeks before Election Day, Trump said he senses voter enthusiasm rivalling 2016 and he expressed cautious optimism that his most loyal supporters will vote even when he is not on the ballot. He dismissed suggestions that he might take responsibility, as his predecessor did, for midterm losses or view the outcome as a referendum on his presidency.
“No, I think I’m helping people,” Trump said. “I don’t believe anybody’s ever had this kind of an impact.”
Trump spoke on a range of subjects, defending Saudi Arabia from growing condemnation over the case of a missing journalist, accusing his longtime attorney Michael Cohen of lying under oath and flashing defiance when asked about the insult — “Horseface” — he hurled at Stormy Daniels, the porn actress who accuses him of lying about an affair.
Asked if it was appropriate to insult a woman’s appearance, Trump responded, “You can take it any way you want.”
The 40-minute interview came as Trump’s administration was being urged to pressure Saudi Arabia to account for the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Instead, Trump offered a defence for the U.S. ally, warning against a rush to judgment, like with what happened with his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.
“Well, I think we have to find out what happened first,” Trump said. “Here we go again with, you know, you’re guilty until proven innocent. I don’t like that. We just went through that with Justice Kavanaugh. And he was innocent all the way.”
If Democrats take the House and pursue impeachment or investigations — including seeking his long-hidden tax returns — Trump said he will “handle it very well.”
The president declared he was unconcerned about other potential threats to his presidency. He accused Cohen of lying when testifying under oath that the president co-ordinated on a hush-money scheme to buy Daniels’ silence.
Trump declared the allegation “totally false.”
Trump said Washington lawyer Pat Cipollone will serve as his next White House counsel and that he hoped to announce a replacement for UN Ambassador Nikki Haley in the next week or two. He again repeated his frustration with Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the special counsel investigation, saying he could “fire him whenever I want to fire him, but I haven’t said that I was going to.”