Trump Freaks Out After Democrats Win House: A Closer Look


President Trump
is so freaked out about Democrats
winning back the House that he’s already moving to hamstring
the Russia investigation. For more on this,
it’s time for “A Closer Look.” ♪♪ The more results we get
from Tuesday’s elections, the clearer it becomes
that this was a blue wave and a national repudiation
of Trump’s presidency. Democrats had their biggest
net gain in the House
since Watergate, they won the popular vote
in the House by about 7 points, and they won statewide races
in key swing states like Michigan, Pennsylvania,
Ohio, and Wisconsin. Or as Trump put it… -The Republican Party
defied history to expand our Senate majority while significantly beating
expectations in the House for the midtown
and midterm year. -Sorry.
Did you say the “midtown year”? Oh, okay.
I see what’s happening. Trump thought
it was the midtown election, not the midterm election. That’s why he spent
all his time campaigning at the M&M’s store with
the Times Square Spider-Man. [ Applause ] [ As Pres. Trump ]
“And tonight… tonight I am happy
to announce that Dirty Elmo has been elected
to the House of Representatives at Bubba Gump Shrimp.” [ Laughter ] So for a few hours —
for a few hours, the big story was Democrats massively outperforming
Republicans in the House and in swing states
across the country, which, of course, meant Trump
had to do something crazy to get the spotlight back, and
that’s what happened yesterday when Trump lost his mind
on national television
in a press conference. In fact, at one point,
he got so mad at a question about
the Russia investigation that he had to
walk away from the podium. -On the Russia investigation, are you concerned
that you may have — -I’m not concerned
about anything with the Russia investigation,
because it’s a hoax. -Are you —
-That’s enough. Put down the mic.
-Mr. President, are you worried about indictments coming down
in this investigation? [ Laughter ] -Look at him. President Ralph Kramden
over there. “One of these days…!” But aside — aside
from his usual theatrics, Trump’s performance yesterday
was deeply revealing because it made it clear that he
sees himself as above the law. In fact, he can’t even explain how laws work
or how they’re made. Listen to Trump ramble about
how he can’t pass tax cuts because he doesn’t have
the votes in Congress. -This will
have to be now proposed because if we did it now, we don’t have the votes
in the Senate. We would need 10 Democrat votes.
We probably couldn’t get them. If we could, we could pass it
very easily in the House, but there’s no reason
to waste time because you don’t have
the votes in the Senate. So now we go into the Senate,
we don’t have the 10 votes. And what happens?
It doesn’t get passed. Even if it gets out of the
House, it doesn’t get passed. -It’s like watching an episode
of “Schoolhouse Rock!” if the bill overdosed on Ambien. Now, one feature
of our Constitutional system is that Congress
gets to constrain the power of the president
and investigate him. And right after their victory
in the House, Democrats announced
that they would use that power to request Trump’s tax returns, which he has hidden
from the public despite the fact that presidents
going back decades have released theirs. And when he was asked
about that yesterday, you could tell
Trump was freaking out from how much he rambled
through his answer. -Point blank, Democrats
go after your tax returns. Will you try to block that or will you allow them
to have them? -Well, look, as I’ve told you,
they’re under audit. They have been for a long time. They’re extremely complex.
People wouldn’t understand them. They’re done by among the biggest and best law firms
in the country. Same thing with
the accounting firms. The accountants are a very,
very large, powerful firm from the standpoint of respect. They’re highly respected.
Big firm. But when you’re under audit, and I’m under
very continuous audit because there’s
so many companies and it is a very big company, far bigger than you
would even understand. But it’s a great company. But it’s big, and it’s complex,
and it’s probably feet high. It’s a very complex instrument, and I think that people
wouldn’t understand it. -In other words,
yes, I have a girlfriend, but she goes to another school,
and the school is in Canada, and also she died. [ Laughter ] Also, what do you mean
people wouldn’t understand it? They’re tax returns. Trump sounds like a dad
who doesn’t know how to answer a question from his 5-year-old. “Dad, where does wind
come from?” “Uh, you wouldn’t understand. I definitely know the answer… but you wouldn’t understand.” Trump cannot abide
any checks on his power because he sees himself
as above the law. For him,
laws aren’t constraints. They’re weapons to be wielded
against your opponents. For example, he was asked
what would happen if Democrats exercised
their Constitutional authority to investigate him, and he said that if they did
that, he would consider it war. -Are you offering a “my way or highway” scenario
to the Democrats? You’re saying that…
-Negotiation. Not at all. -…if they start
investigating you, that you can play that game
and investigate them? -Better than them.
-Can you compartmentalize — -And I think I know more
than they know. -Can you compartmentalize that
and still continue to work with them for the benefit
of the rest of the country? -No.
-Or are all bets off? -No, if they do that, then it’s just — All it is,
is a warlike posture. -A warlike posture? I’m sorry, but I wouldn’t say
posture is your strong suit. [ Laughter ] You look like someone let the
air out of the Michelin Man. In fact, Trump is so petty
and vindictive that he actually took time
out of his press conference to slam members of his own party
who lost their re-election bids, implying that they lost because
they didn’t support him enough. -Candidates who embraced
our message of low taxes, low regulations, low crime, strong borders,
and great judges excelled. Barbara Comstock
was another one. I mean, I think
she could have won that race, but she didn’t want
to have any embrace. Peter Roskam
didn’t want the embrace. Erik Paulsen
didn’t want the embrace. -Why does he keep calling it
“the embrace”? Sounds like a Mike Pence
euphemism for sex. [ Laughter ] [ Cheers and applause ] “Once a, uh… Once a year, on my birthday,
we engage in…the embrace.” [ Laughter ] It’s like a “Seinfeld” episode
where George Costanza complains that he went in for a
hug on a date and got rejected. “I didn’t get the embrace,
Jerry!” “No embrace?”
“She de-embraced!” “Looks like you’ll
have to embrace…yourself.” [ “Seinfeld”
bumper music plays ] [ Cheers and applause ] It’s so much like
a “Seinfeld” episode, Trump is even doing
the Babu finger now. -You are a rude,
terrible person. -He’s a very bad man. -And it’s not just
his petty score settling. Trump’s vindictiveness
was very much on display with his power grab
at the Justice Department and his decision to fire
Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In that press conference,
reporters tried to ask Trump how he would approach
the Russia investigation now that the midterms are over and whether he would try to
install a new attorney general. But Trump, who spent
the entire press conference rambling and yelling at people,
was suspiciously coy. -Can you give us clarity, sir, on your thinking currently
now after the midterms about your attorney general and
your deputy attorney general? Do they have long-term
job security? -I’d rather answer that
at a little bit different time. -You can say yes or no, but saying,
“I’d like to answer that later,” is the most suspicious answer
you can give. If you get pulled over, and your answer to,
“Have you been drinking?” is, “Let me get back to you,” it’s breathalyzer time. Of course, it turned out
that Trump had already decided to fire Sessions, although
he refused to do it himself. -Jeff Sessions was fired. He wrote a letter today saying that he was resigning at
the request of the President. -The President,
who became famous for the phrase “You’re Fired,” punting to his chief of staff
to give Sessions the boot. John Kelly didn’t even
do it face-to-face, but opted to fire Sessions
by phone. -These guys are such cowards. Trump didn’t want
to fire Sessions himself, so he had Kelly do it, and Kelly
didn’t want to do it, either, so he just called him. I’m surprised they didn’t
just send Stephen Miller to perch on Sessions’
window sill. “Caw! You’re fired! Caw!” [ Laughter ] With Democrats regaining power
in Washington, Trump is now seriously
threatened for the first
time in his presidency, and in response,
he’s becoming more lawless. He sees the law not as
a constraint on his power, but as a tool
to protect himself. And as Jeff Sessions
just learned, he’ll attack anyone in his way, whether you’re an opponent
who hates him or a supporter who gives him… -The embrace. -This has been “A Closer Look.”

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