Donald Trump’s post-midterms White House victory lap broke into verbal brawling when CNN’s Jim Acosta poked the presidential bear with his line of questioning about POTUS’s Caravan Invasion rally rhetoric.
“That’s enough! Put down the mic!” Trump ordered Acosta. “CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You should not be working for CNN.”
“The way you treat Sarah Huckabee is horrible. The way you treat other people is horrible!” Trump hissed at Acosta.
“I’m not a big fan of yours either!” Trump spit back when NBC’s White House Correspondent Peter Alexander came to Acosta’s defense, telling Trump his comment was “unfair” and adding, Acosta is “a diligent reporter who busts his butt like the rest of us.”
Acosta jumped back up and, minus microphone, could be heard talking “pipe bombs” – three of which had been sent to CNN; a rabid Donald Trump supporter in Florida has been arrested for the crime.
“Just sit down!” Trump shouted at Acosta. “When you report Fake News, which CNN does, you are the Enemy of the People.”
Later, when asked about voter suppression, Trump shot back, “I will give you voter suppression!”
“Sit down! I didn’t call you!” he shouted at CNN contributor April Ryan, who had jumped up without a microphone to shout out a question.
“Take a look at the CNN polls, how inaccurate they were. THAT’s voter suppression!” he bellowed.
“Such a hostile media,” Trump groused, telling Ryan, “You rudely interrupted him!”
PBS’s Yamiche Alcindor asked Trump about calling himself a “nationalist” which was seen by many to mean “white nationalist.”
“That is such a racist question!” Trump yelled at the African American reporter,saying he loves his country and that she had insulted him.
Later, a veteran reporter reminded him people died during this midterm election process and wondered if he could tone down the rhetoric.
Trump called it a “fair question, insisting, “I would love to see unity and peace and love, and any other word you want to use. We had to wait until after midterms are over and now they’re over.”
Trump said he could get along with the media “if they would cover me fairly, which they don’t. I can do something that’s fantastic, and they make it look not good.”
“I would love to see unity, including with the media” he said, calling the press “a very divisive thing for our country.”
Before the presser went off the rails, Trump kicked off the presser boasting the GOP had “defied history” previous night, expanding the Senate majority and not losing as many House seats as forecast by blue-wavers.
Republicans did this despite a “dramatic fundraising disadvantage” relative to Democrats with their “wealthy donors and hostile media coverage, to put it mildly.”
Plus, he noted, GOP suffered a “staggering number of House retirements.”
Trump slapped himself on the back for his campaign rallies in the closing weeks of the midterms, boasting of the “large numbers of people” to attend his rallies.
Of 11 Republicans he campaigned for in the last 60 days, “9 won last night,” Trump crowed. He also danced on the political graves of those Republicans who had decided not to “accept the embrace” of Trump, and lost their races.
“This vigorous campaigning stopped the Blue Wave, if there ever was such a thing,” Trump said.
Trump claimed it’s the largest Senate gain since JFK’s first midterms in 1962 and that there have been only four midterm elections since 19345 in which the POTUS party gained a single Senate seat.” His 50-something Republicans in the Senate is the largest number in the President’s party in the last 100 years, Trump claimed.
Trump touted GOP’s wins in gubernatorial races, against “Well funded, talented…Democratic candidates and people that worked very hard, respectfully for those candidates. Like Oprah Winfrey, who I like.”
“I don’t know if she likes me any more, but that’s okay,” Trump said, which is what he says when it’s not. “She used to,” he added, stuck on this subject. “She worked very hard in Georgia.”
One reporter said he was tempted to ask Trump why he likes Oprah.
Trump took offense.
“Why do I like Oprah? What kind of a question is that? He’s a comedian here. I do like Oprah. She was a person I knew well. She came to my place in Palm Beach often. And I have a lot of respect for her. Unfortunately, she did not do the trick” for her candidate, he noted.
Trump sent “warmest appreciation” to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell with whom he said he had a “great relationship.
He also gave a bit wet kiss to presumed returning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying he wants her named House speaker and if she can’t get needed Dem votes to that end, he will deliver some Republicans.
“I respected what Nancy said last night about bipartisanship and getting people together and uniting,” Trump said.
With a Dem majority in the House, “this way they will come to me, we will negotiate. We have a lot of things in common,” he added, naming infrastructure, healthcare, etc.
“I think I can work with her and get a lot done.”
But, if the House launches investigations into his taxes, etc. he will not collaborate, Trump threatened.