Trump’s post-midterm press conference covered a range of topics but focused on the question of potential investigations by the newly empowered Democrats. If they do so, it will signal a “war-like posture,” Trump said.
In a press conference following the results of the midterm elections, President Trump fielded questions for over an hour on election-related issues, border security and foreign policy, among other topics.
Some of the most heated moments were triggered by questions on whether the Democrats will use their election gains to push for more investigations against Trump, with the presumed goal of impeachment.
While Trump had tweeted shortly after the midterms saying he would endorse Nancy Pelosi for House speaker and embrace bipartisanship on certain issues, he was firm in suggesting that the Democrats drop any notion of proceeding with an investigation against him.
He was clear that a Democrat-led investigation into his tax returns would ruin any reconciliation efforts. When asked if he would be able to “compartmentalize” such a probe and continue to work alongside the Democrats, Trump responded in a serious tone: No. If they do that, it’s a war-like posture.
Trump suggested at several points that if the Democrats pursue an investigation, it will lead to division and legislative back-and-forths on Capitol Hill: “They can play that game, but we can play it better. Because we have a thing called the United States Senate.”
The hostility carried over to the following question, when Trump refused to answer a CNN reporter regarding the Russia investigation, calling the process “shameful” and a “hoax” before the question and answer succession devolved into shouting and personal invective. When the subject was brought up again later, Trump emphasized that he could immediately end the investigation by “firing” everyone involved.
Trump made good on this threat Thursday when he requested Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ resignation. Sessions will be replaced by a senior aide who has sought to impose limitations on the Russia probe.