Investigate me, and I'll investigate you — and the result will likely be gridlock. This is one of the messages US President Donald Trump delivered on Wednesday at a press conference just a few hours after the Democrats took over the US House of Representatives.
By turns combative and conciliatory, Trump said he would adopt a “warlike posture” if Democrats follow through on their vows to use the subpoena power to launch investigations into his administration, adding they have “nothing, zero” on him.
“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 also tweeted earlier in the day.
But speaking at a brash 90-minute press conference at the White House – the president argued with reporters, telling several to “sit down” and branding others “rude” – Trump also said Democrats and Republicans should set aside partisanship to work together for the American people.
“There are many things we can get along on,” said Trump. “I would like to see bipartisanship. I would like to see unity. Maybe not on everything, but I think we have a very good chance of seeing that.”
Trump framed the election results as a validating triumph and repeatedly showed his support to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi in her bid for speaker, saying he looks forward to working with her on “a beautiful bipartisan-type situation.”
“Now we have a much easier path because the Democrats will come to us with a plan for infrastructure, a plan for health care, a plan for whatever they’re looking at, and we’ll negotiate,” Trump said.
“From a deal-making standpoint, we are all much better off the way it turned out” than if Republicans had kept control of the House.
The president’s remarks on party dynamics came after US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he had spoken with Nancy Pelosi to find common ground in a divided Congress next year.