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Trump suggests a post-election opening for bipartisanship — with a warning

President Trump touted the midterm election returns and claimed personal credit for expanding the GOP Senate majority the day after Americans went to the polls. He even argued that he could get more done with a Democratic House, and warned the party not to launch investigations of him. But Nancy Pelosi, the likely speaker-to-be, insisted Democrats will hold Trump accountable. Judy Woodruff reports.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The ouster of Sessions jolted Washington, as Lisa said, as it was still absorbing the aftermath of the midterm elections.

    The results have changed the political landscape, giving Democrats control of the U.S. House of Representatives, and Republicans a slightly wider margin in the U.S. Senate.

  • President Donald Trump:

    The Republican Party deified history to expand our Senate majority, while significantly beating expectations in the House.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    President Trump called a White House news conference to tout the election returns, and claim personal credit for expanding that Senate majority.

  • President Donald Trump:

    We saw the candidates that I supported achieve tremendous success last night. As an example, of the 11 candidates we campaigned with during the last week, nine won last night.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    In heated exchanges with news reporters, the president denied that his attacks on migrants promoted racism. He also blamed the loss of the GOP's House majority on a surge of Republican retirements and incumbents who distanced themselves from him.

    He even argued he can get more done with a Democratic House than with a paper-thin GOP majority.

  • President Donald Trump:

    If we won by one or two or three or four or five, that wouldn't happen, and the closer it is, the worse it is. This way, they will come to me, they will negotiate. Maybe we will make a deal, maybe we won't. That's possible. But we have a lot of things in common on infrastructure.

    We want to do something on health care. They want to do something on health care. There are a lot of great things that we can do together.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    But Mr. Trump warned that if Democrats launch investigations of him, that would be the end of any cooperation.

  • President Donald Trump:

    Now, we can investigate. They look at us. We look at them. It goes on for two years. And then, at the end of two years, nothing is done.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the likely speaker-to-be, insisted Democrats will hold the president accountable, after gaining more than 30 seats for their first majority since 2010.

  • Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.:

    Yesterday's election wasn't only a vote to protect America's health care. It was a vote to restore the health of our democracy. And we as Democrats are here to strengthen the institution in which we serve, and not have it be a rubber stamp for President Trump.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    That could mean investigations of everything from Mr. Trump's tax returns to Russia's role in the 2016 election.

    On the Senate side, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell played down concerns that divided government will mean gridlock.

  • Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.:

    Even though we have obviously big differences over things like taxes and judges, there were plenty of other things we did together, and there's no reason that would stop simply because the House now becomes Democratic.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    But Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer suggested President Trump and his party now have good reason to worry.

  • Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.:

    Last night was a really good night for Democrats. And what happened last night doesn't bode well for President Trump and Republicans in 2020 and beyond.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Democrats are also counting their gains in the ranks of governors, winning at least seven more statehouses last night.

    They were watching the election results everywhere. Wall Street rallied on the news from the election. Analysts said that divided government will likely mean no new taxes or government regulations, and no repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

    The Dow Jones industrial average today gained 545 points to close at 26180. The Nasdaq rose 194, and the S&P 500 added 58. All three indexes are up more than 2 percent.

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