21:46 GMT +313 November 2018
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    U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally for U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) in Houston, Texas, U.S., October 22, 2018

    Trump Not Ruling Out Gov't Shutdown Over Wall Funding at Post-Election Presser

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    Earlier in the day, US President Donald Trump called the results of the 2018 midterm elections a "tremendous success" amid projections that Democrats will take control of the US House of Representatives and that Republicans will maintain majority in the Senate.

    "History really will see what a good job we did in the next couple of weeks," Trump said, pointing to what he said was the Republican Party's success in stopping the so-called "Blue wave" promised by the Democrats in the runup to Tuesday's vote.

    Trump claimed that historically speaking, the midterm losses his party faced with him as the sitting president were the lowest since President John F Kennedy's in 1962. President Obama lost 63 House seats in 2010, compared to 27 in Trump's case, Trump noted.

    "I thought it was a very close to complete victory," Trump said of the overall election results, pointing to Republican victories in Georgia, Florida and Iowa, among others.

    Minimizing the significance of House losses, Trump pointed to the retirement of 43 House Republicans, which he said affected the party's chances in the House of Representatives. Trump also called out Republican candidates who did not accept his support and subsequently lost.

    Trump characterized the performance of Republican candidates for governor as "incredible," saying that Republican governors now firmly control the majority of the US's 50 states.

    White House Wants Bipartisanship

    The president said that he was looking forward to working with Democratic lawmakers including leading House Democrat Nancy Pelosi on issues including trade, the economy, healthcare, infrastructure, and prescription drug assistance. "There are a lot of great  things that we can do together," Trump said.

    Calling current US economic growth a "miracle" and "really amazing," Trump said that the previously "dead" steel and aluminum industries were back, with miners back to work. Noting that he was looking to protect the environment, Trump added that he didn't want to put US industries at a disadvantage to Washington's foreign competitors.

    Trump said that he expects the Democratic House majority to come up with some "fantastic ideas" including the environment and prescription drug prices. "I would like to see bipartisanship, I would like to see unity…and I think we have a very good chance of seeing that," he said.

    Border Wall Funding or Bust

    The president said he would continue to push for the wall on the US-Mexico border, saying that the presence of US troops wouldn't be enough. Trump added that he wouldn't rule out a government shutdown over border wall funding, and said he believes the Democrats' stance on the issue has hurt them politically. "I cannot commit to that," Trump said, when asked if it was possible to eliminate a "shutdown scenario" over border wall funding.

    "We need the money to build the wall, the whole wall, not pieces of it," Trump stressed. "We need the wall, many Democrats know we need the wall, and we're just going to have to see what happens."

    Failed Russiagate Probe

    Commenting on the probe into alleged Russian meddling into the 2016 election, Trump urged Democrats against continuing the endevour, and said he was "not concerned" by the investigation, which he called a "hoax."

    "It's been a long time. They've got nothing, zero. You know why? Because there is nothing," Trump said. "They can play that game but we can play it better," he added. The Russiagate investigation has been "very bad for our country," the president said, with the Mueller probe failing to find anything. "There's no collusion," Trump said.

    Calling the investigation a "disgrace" and a waste of taxpayer money which should never have been started, "because there's no crime," Trump said he had no plans to stop it. "I let it go on, because I don't want to do that, but you're right, I could end it right now — I could say that investigation is over."

    CNN Fake News

    Going off on CNN reporter Jim Acosta over a question on the migrant caravan, Trump called him a "rude, terrible person," and said that "when you report fake news, you are the enemy of the people."

    "It's such a hostile media, it's so sad," Trump later quipped, commenting on another reporter yelling a question without being called upon. "I come in here as a nice person wanting to answer questions and I have people jumping out of their seats screaming questions at me," Trump said of the "hostile" atmosphere at the press conference.

    Staff Changes

    "For the most part, I'm very happy with this cabinet," Trump said when asked about possible vacancies in his administration following the midterms, including the possible departure of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. "There will be changes, nothing monumental from that standpoint," he added. "We are a hot country, we are a hot White House. This is a White House that people want to work with," the president boasted.

    The Democrats won a majority of the US House of Representatives in Tuesday's midterm elections, and will officially take over when the new Congress takes office in January 2019. Republicans will still be in control of the US Senate in January, as they were able to hold and grow their majority of seats in the election.

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    2018 midterm elections, Donald Trump, United States
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