The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
November 7, 2018

East Room

11:57 A.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you very much. Please, thank you.

It was a big day yesterday. An incredible day. And last night, the Republican Party defied history to expand our Senate Majority while significantly beating expectations in the House for the midtown and midterm year. We did this in spite of a very dramatic fundraising disadvantage driven by Democrats’ wealthy donors and special interests, and very hostile media coverage, to put it mildly. The media coverage set a new record and a new standard.

We also had a staggering number of House retirements. So it's a little tough. These are seats that could've been held pretty easily, and we had newcomers going in, and a lot of them worked very hard. But it's very difficult when you have that many retirements.

We held a large number of campaign rallies with large, large numbers of people going to every one -- and to the best of my knowledge, we didn’t have a vacant or an empty seat; I'm sure you would have reported it if you spotted one -- including 30 rallies in the last 60 days. And we saw the candidates that I supported achieve great success last night.

As an example, of the 11 candidates we campaigned with during the last week, 9 won last night. This vigorous campaigning stopped the blue wave that they talked about. I don't know if there ever was such a thing, but could've been. If we didn’t do the campaign, probably there could've been. And the history really will see what a good job we did in the final couple of weeks in terms of getting some tremendous people over the finish line. They really are tremendous people, but many of them were not known. But they will be known.

This election marks the largest Senate gains for a President’s party in a first midterm election since at least President Kennedy's in 1962.

There have been only four midterm elections since 1934 in which a President’s party has gained even a single Senate seat. As of now, we picked up, it looks like, three. Could be four. Perhaps it could be two. But we picked up a lot. And most likely, that number will be three. You people probably know that better than I do at this point, because you've looked at the more recent numbers.

Fifty-five is the largest number of Republican senators in the last 100 years. In the last 80 years, a sitting President’s party has only gained a cumulative total of eight Senate seats, averaging one per decade. So, if we picked up two, three, or four, that's a big percentage of that number. So in the last 80 years -- you think of that -- only eight seats.

In President Obama’s first midterm election, he lost six Senate seats, including in the deep-blue state of Massachusetts.

Republicans captured at least four Senate seats held by Democrat incumbents. And these are tremendously talented, hardworking people that did this -- Indiana, North Dakota, Florida, Missouri. We also won two open Senate seats in Tennessee -- I want to congratulate our great champion who did such a great job in Tennessee, Marsha -- and in Utah. And Arizona is looking very good. Really, very good. She's done a terrific job. That was a tough race, and she's done a fantastic job.

In each of these open seats, Democrats recruited very strong candidates with substantial fundraising and media support. We were getting bombarded with money on the other side.

In the House, Republicans dramatically outperformed historical precedents and overcame a historic number of retirements -- the most House Republican retirements in 88 years; 43 House Republicans retired.

Now, I will say this -- that, in many cases, they were chairman of committees, and they left because they weren’t chairman, because the Republicans have a rule -- for six years. And what that does is wonderful in one way; it lets people come through the system and become chairman. And, in another way, it drives people out. Because when they're a chairman, they don’t want to go and not be a chairman. You're the chairman of a committee, and you're a big deal, and then all of a sudden you're not doing that anymore. So they leave. We had a lot of them leave. I guess you can flip a coin as to which system is better. The Democrats do the other. Some of their folks have been in these committees for a long time as chairman.

In 2010, President Obama’s first midterm, he lost 63 seats. By contrast, as of the most current count, it looks like around 27 House seats or something. And we'll figure that out pretty soon.

We also had a slew of historic wins in the governors' races -- the governors' races were incredible -- against very well-funded, talented, and skilled Democrat candidates and people that worked very, very hard, respectfully, for those candidates, like Oprah Winfrey, who I like. I don't know if she likes me anymore, but that's okay. She used to. But she worked very hard in Georgia. Very, very hard.

And if you look at them, we won four governors' races crucial to 2020 and the presidential race: Florida, Iowa, Ohio, and Georgia. The big ones: Florida, Iowa, Ohio, and Georgia. Can't get much more important than that. They were incredible. They were actually incredible campaigns, too. Incredible.

As of right now, Republicans will control the majority of governorships across the country, including three great women who worked very hard: the governors of Alabama, South Dakota, and Iowa. They worked very, very hard. They're very talented.

By expanding our Senate majority, the voters have also clearly rebuked the Senate Democrats for their handling of the Kavanaugh hearings. That was a factor. I think maybe a very big factor. The way that was handled, I think, was -- tremendous energy was given to the Republican Party by the way they treated then-Judge Kavanaugh, now Justice Kavanaugh. And expressed their support for confirming more great pro-Constitution judges.

Candidates who embraced our message of low taxes, low regulations, low crime, strong borders, and great judges excelled last night. They excelled. They really -- I mean, we have a list of people that were fantastic, and I'm just going to point them out: Mike Bost; Rodney Davis; Andy Barr was fantastic. I went to Kentucky -- for the most part, I didn't campaign for the House, but I did actually make a special trip for Andy Barr because he was in a very tough race in Kentucky, and he won. That was a very tough race. The polls were all showing that he was down, and down substantially. And he won. And that one, I did do.

Pete Stauber, of Minnesota. Great guy. He's new and ran a fantastic race.

On the other hand, you had some that decided to "let's stay away." "Let's stay away." They did very poorly. I'm not sure that I should be happy or sad, but I feel just fine about it.

Carlos Curbelo; Mike Coffman -- too bad, Mike; Mia Love. I saw Mia Love. She'd call me all the time to help her with a hostage situation. Being held hostage in Venezuela. But Mia Love gave me no love, and she lost. Too bad. Sorry about that, Mia.

And Barbara Comstock was another one. I mean, I think she could have run that race, but she didn't want to have any embrace. For that, I don't blame her. But she -- she lost. Substantially lost.

Peter Roskam didn't want the embrace. Erik Paulsen didn't want the embrace. And in New Jersey, I think he could have done well, but didn't work out too good.
Bob Hugin, I feel badly because I think that's something that could have been won. That's a race that could have been won. That's a race that could have been won. John Faso.

Those are some of the people that, you know, decided for their own reason not to embrace, whether it's me or what we stand for. But what we stand for meant a lot to most people. And we've had tremendous support, and tremendous support in the Republican Party. Among the biggest support in the history of the party. I've actually heard, at 93 percent, it's a record. But I won't say that, because who knows. But we've had tremendous support.

America is booming like never before. Doing fantastic. We have Larry Kudlow here, and he said the numbers are as good as he's ever seen -- numbers -- at any time for our country. But he's a young man, so he hasn't seen that many numbers. (Laughter.) Where's Larry? You're a young man. Right, Larry? And you haven't been doing this too long, but they're as good as you've ever seen. And we may have -- if you have a question for Larry, we'll do that.

But I want to send my warmest appreciation in regards to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. We really worked very well together. We have been working very well together. We actually have a great relationship. People just don't understand that, which is fine.

And also to, perhaps -- it looks like, I would think -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi. And I give her a lot of credit. She works very hard, and she’s worked long and hard. I give her a great deal of credit for what she's done and what she’s accomplished.

Hopefully, we can all work together next year to continue delivering for the American people, including on economic growth, infrastructure, trade, lowering the cost of prescription drugs. These are some of things that the Democrats do want to work on, and I really believe we’ll be able to do that. I think we’re going to have a lot of reason to do it.

And I will say, just as a matter of business, I was with some very successful people last night. We were watching the returns. So if the Republicans won -- and let’s say we held on by two, or one, or three -- it would’ve been very hard out of that many Republicans to ever even get support among Republicans, because there will always be one, or two, or three people that, for a good reason or for a bad reason, or for grandstanding -- we have that too; you've seen that. You've seen that. Plenty of grandstanding. But for certain reasons that many people -- you’re always going to have a couple that won’t do it. So that puts us in a very bad position.

In other words, had we kept it, and this is no -- I’m saying this for very basic reasons, common sense -- it puts us in a very tough position. We win by one, or two, or three, and you’ll have one, or two, or three, or four or five even, come over and say, you know, “Look, we’re not going to along with this. We want this, this, this…” And all of a sudden, we can’t even -- we wouldn’t even be able to get, in many cases, out of the Republicans’ hands before we sent it on to the Senate.

And now we have a much easier path, because the Democrats will come to us with a plan for infrastructure, a plan for healthcare, a plan for whatever they are looking at, and we’ll negotiate. And as you know, it’s been very hard in the Senate because we need, essentially, 10 votes from Democrats, and we don’t get those votes. Because the Democrats do really stick together well. I don’t agree with them on a lot of policy, but I agree with them on sticking together. They stick together great.

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. So under the new concept of what we're doing, I say, “Come on. Let me see what you have.” They want to do things. You know, I keep hearing about investigations fatigue. Like from the time -- almost from the time I announced I was going to run, they’ve been giving us this investigation fatigue. It’s been a long time. They got nothing. Zero. You know why? Because there is nothing.

But they can play that game, but we can play it better. Because we have a thing called the United States Senate. And a lot of very questionable things were done between leaks of classified information, and many other elements that should not have taken place. And all you’re going to do is end up in back and forth, and back and forth. And two years is going to go up, and we won’t have done a thing.

I really think, and I really respected what Nancy said last night about bipartisanship and getting together and uniting. She used the word "uniting" and she used the word the bipartisanship statement, which is so important because that’s what we should be doing. So we can look at us, they can look at us, and we can look at them, and it’ll go back and forth. And it'll probably be very good for me politically. I could see it being extremely good politically, because I think I'm better at that game than they are, actually.

But we’ll find out. I mean, you know, we’ll find out. Or we can work together. You can’t do them simultaneously, by the way. Just think if somebody said, “Oh, you can do them both.” No, you can’t. Because if they’re doing that, we’re not doing the other, just so you understand. So we won’t be doing that.

But now what happens is we send it to the Senate, and we’ll get 100 percent Democrat support, and we’ll get some Republican support. And if it’s good, I really believe we have Republicans that will help with the approval process -- and they will really help with the approval process.

So it really could be a beautiful bipartisan type of situation. 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’ll come to me, we’ll negotiate. Maybe we’ll 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 healthcare; they want to do something on healthcare. There are a lot of great things that we can do together. And now we’ll send it up and we will really get -- we’ll get the Democrats and we’ll get the Republicans, or some of the Republicans. And I’ll make sure that we send something up that the Republicans can support, and they're going to want to make sure they send something up that the Democrats can support.

So our great country is booming like never before, and we're thriving on every single level, both in terms of economic and military strength; in terms of development. In terms of GDP, we're doing unbelievably.

I will tell you, our trade deals are coming along fantastically. The USMCA and South Korea is finished. USMCA has gotten rave reviews. Not going to lose companies anymore to other countries. They're not going to do that because they have a tremendous economic incentive, meaning it's prohibitive for them to do that.

So it's not going to be like NAFTA, which is one of the worst deals I've ever seen -- although we've made some other pretty bad ones too.

Now is the time for members of both parties to join together, put partisanship aside, and keep the American economic miracle going strong. It is a miracle. We're doing so well. And I've said it at a lot of rallies. Some of you have probably heard it so much you don't want to hear it again. But when people come to my office -- presidents, prime ministers -- they all congratulate me, almost the first thing, on what we've done economically. Because it is really amazing.

And our steel industry is back. Our aluminum industry is starting to do really well. These are industries that were dead. Our miners are working again.

We must all work together to protect our military -- I have to do that -- to support out law enforcement, secure our borders, and advance really great policy, including environmental policy. We want crystal-clean water. We want beautiful, perfect air. Air and water, it has to be perfect.

At the same time, we don't want to put ourselves at a disadvantage to other countries who are very competitive with us and who don't abide by the rules at all. We don't want to hurt our jobs. We don't want to hurt our factories. We don't want companies leaving. We want to be totally competitive, and we are.

And right now we have just about the cleanest air, the cleanest water we've ever had, and it's always going to be that way. We insist on it. So environmental is very important to me.

And with that, I'll take a few questions if you'd like. Woah. (Laughter.) I didn't know what happened.

All right, go ahead, John.

That was a lot of hands shooting up so quickly.

Q There's a lot to talk about.

THE PRESIDENT: There's a lot to talk about.

Q Mr. President, you talked at length just now about bipartisanship. The presumed Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, talked about it last night. I'm sure that's encouraging for the American people. But do you really believe, given what the relationship has been like between this White House and the Democratic Party, that that will happen? Will --

THE PRESIDENT: I think there's a good chance, John. I think there's a very good chance that --

Q If I could just finish --

THE PRESIDENT: -- it will happen.

Q Wil you have to compromise on certain issues to the point where it could hurt you in 2020? And do you expect that when the Democrats take over the chairmanship of all these important committees, you're going to get hit with a blizzard of subpoenas on everything from the Russia investigation --

THE PRESIDENT: Well, then everything is going to come -- okay.

Q -- to your cellphone use, to your tax returns?

THE PRESIDENT: Ready? Then you're going to -- if that happens, then we're going to do the same thing and government comes to a halt. And I would blame them because they now are going to be coming up with policy. They're the majority in the House.

I expect that they will come up with some fantastic ideas that I can support on the environment, on so many different things, including prescription drug prices -- which we've made a big dent in already, including some of the things that we're working on for the vets. We've gotten choice approved. We've gotten a lot of things approved. But they have some other elements that we want.

There are many things we can get along on without a lot of trouble -- that we agree very much with them and they agree with us. I would like to see bipartisanship. I would like to see unity. And I think we have a very good chance of -- and maybe not on everything -- but I think we have a very good chance of seeing that.

Go ahead.

Q One question on the lame duck, sir, and one on your Cabinet. You toyed with the idea during the campaign of a shutdown before the midterms in order to secure border wall funding. Are you prepared to go on a shutdown strategy during a lame duck, since this might be your last, best chance --

THE PRESIDENT: Not necessarily my last chance.

Q -- to secure that?

THE PRESIDENT: Look, I speak to Democrats all the time. They agree that a wall is necessary. Wall is necessary. And as you know, we're building the wall. We've started. But we should build it at one time, not in chunks.

Q But you want much more money, and you want it much sooner.

THE PRESIDENT: No, we need the money to build the wall -- the whole wall -- not pieces of it all over. And we are doing it.

Now we have the military. Now we have other elements of wall that are pretty nasty, to be honest with you. But it's -- nevertheless, it's pretty hard to get through it.

But no, I'd like to see the wall. Many of the people that we'll be dealing with, you know, in 2006, they approved the wall, essentially. It was a very strong border fence, but it was the same thing. And they all approved it; they all agreed. I have statements from every one of them. We have them saying, "We need the wall." I mean, they sound like me.

But we do need it because we have people coming -- and I’m not just talking about the caravans. We have people coming through our border that you physically can't put that many people. It's a 2,000-mile stretch. You can't put that many people along that stretch to guard it. And even if you did, tremendous fighting would ensue.

So we need the wall. Many Democrats know we need the wall. And we're just going to have to see what happens. I mean, we'll be fighting for it. They have done everything in their power to make sure we're -- I got the military $700 billion and $716 billion. The wall is a tiny, tiny fraction of the cost of that. But their whole agenda has been to try not giving me anything for the wall.

I really believe, politically, they're hurting themselves. I actually think, politically, that's a good thing for me. But I want to get the wall up because we need it for security.

Q So no shutdown scenario for the mid -- for the lame duck?

THE PRESIDENT: I don't know. I can't tell you that. No, I can't commit to that, but it's possible.

Q And 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?

THE PRESIDENT: I'd rather answer that at a little bit different time. We’re looking at a lot of different things, including Cabinet. I'm very happy with most of my Cabinet. We're looking at different people for different positions. You know, it's very common after the midterms. I didn't want to do anything before the midterms.

But I will tell you that, for the most part, I'm extremely happy with my Cabinet. I think Mike Pompeo has fit in so beautifully. He's done an incredible job as --

Q How about your Interior Secretary?

THE PRESIDENT: We're looking at that, and I want -- I do want to study whatever is being said. I think he's doing --

Q Is he in jeopardy?

THE PRESIDENT: I think he's doing an excellent job, but we will take a look at that in a very strong -- and we'll probably have an idea about that in about a week.

Q Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Okay? Thank you.

Wow, this is --

Go ahead, Jon. He gave me a fair interview the other day, so I might as well ask him a question.

Q All right, thank you, Mr. President. And picking up there, you told me the other day that you are an "open book." So --

THE PRESIDENT: I think I am an open book.

Q So point blank, if Democrats go after your tax returns, will you try to block that or will you allow them to have it?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, look, as I have 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 larger, powerful firm, from the standpoint of respect. Highly respected. Big firm. A great law firm. You know it very well. They do these things; they put them in. But people don't understand tax returns.

Now, I did do a filing of over 100 pages, I believe, which is in the offices. And when people went and saw that filing and they saw the magnitude of it, they were very disappointed. And they saw the -- you know, the detail. You'd get far more from that. And I guess we filed that now three times. But you get far more from that than you could ever get from a tax return.

But when you're under audit -- and I'm on under very continuous audit because there are 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. But if I were finished with the audit, I would have an open mind to it. I would say that. But I don't want to do it during the audit. And, really, no lawyer -- even from the other side, they say often -- not always -- but when you're under audit, you don't have -- you don't subject it to that. You get it done, and then you release it.

So when that happens, if that happens, I would certainly have an open mind to it.

Q So that means that if the audit is still on, you will not turn over the tax returns, or you'll fight to block it?
THE PRESIDENT: When it's under audit -- no, nobody would. Nobody turns over a return when it's under audit, okay?

Yeah, go ahead. Please.

Q One, I was tempted to ask you why you like Oprah so much, but I think I'll go on to the question that --

THE PRESIDENT: Why do I like Oprah?

Q (Laughs.)

THE PRESIDENT: What kind of a question is that?

Q I'm just asking. Just curious. But the real question --

THE PRESIDENT: He's a comedian here.

Q The real question is --

THE PRESIDENT: I do like Oprah, by the way. I do. She was a person I knew well. Came to my place in Palm Beach often. And I have a lot of respect for her. Unfortunately, she didn't do the trick.

Q The real question is, you just said up here, and said from this podium, that it's -- are you offering a my-way-or-highway scenario to the Democrats? You're saying --

THE PRESIDENT: No. Negotiation. Not at all.

Q -- that if -- if they start investigating you, that you can play that game and investigate them.

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, yeah. Better than them.

Q Can you compartmentalize that --

THE PRESIDENT: And I think I know more -- and I think I know more than they know.

Q Can you compartmentalize that and still continue to work with them for the benefit of the rest of the country? Or are you --


Q Are all bets off?

THE PRESIDENT: No. If they do that, then it's just -- all it is, is a warlike posture.

Yeah, go ahead.

Q And so then the -- wait a minute, then the follow-up then --

THE PRESIDENT: You heard my answer. Go ahead.

Q Well, since it's Jim, I'll let it go.

Q Okay. Thank you, Mr. President. I wanted to challenge you on one of the statements that you made in the tail end of the campaign in the midterms, that this --

THE PRESIDENT: Here we go.

Q Well, if you don't mind, Mr. President --

THE PRESIDENT: Let's go. Let's go. Come on.

Q That this caravan was an "invasion." As you know, Mr. President --

THE PRESIDENT: I consider it to be an invasion.

Q As you know, Mr. President, the caravan was not an invasion. It's a group of migrants moving up from Central America towards the border with the U.S.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you for telling me that. I appreciate it.

Q Why did you characterize it as such? And --

THE PRESIDENT: Because I consider it an invasion. You and I have a difference of opinion.

Q But do you think that you demonized immigrants in this election --

THE PRESIDENT: Not at all. No, not at all.

Q -- to try to keep --

THE PRESIDENT: I want them -- I want them to come into the country, but they have to come in legally. You know, they have to come in, Jim, through a process. I want it to be a process.

And I want people to come in. And we need the people.

Q Right. But your campaign had -- your campaign --

THE PRESIDENT: Wait. Wait. Wait. You know why we need the people, don't you? Because we have hundreds of companies moving in. We need the people.

Q Right. But your campaign had an ad showing migrants climbing over walls and so on.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, that's true. They weren't actors. They weren't actors.

Q They're not going to be doing that.

THE PRESIDENT: They weren't actors. Well, no, it was true. Do you think they were actors? They weren't actors. They didn't come from Hollywood. These were -- these were people -- this was an actual -- you know, it happened a few days ago. And --

Q They're hundreds of miles of way though. They're hundreds and hundreds of miles away.

THE PRESIDENT: You know what?

Q That's not an invasion.

THE PRESIDENT: I think you should -- honestly, I think you should let me run the country, you run CNN --

Q All right.

THE PRESIDENT: -- and if you did it well, your ratings would be much better.

Q But let me ask, if I -- if I may ask one other question --

THE PRESIDENT: Okay, that's enough.

Q Mr. President, if I may -- if I may ask one other question.

THE PRESIDENT: Okay, Peter, go ahead.

Q Are you worried --

THE PRESIDENT: That's enough. That's enough. That's enough.

Q Mr. President, I didn't -- well, I was going to ask one other. The other folks that had --

THE PRESIDENT: That's enough. That's enough.

Q Pardon me, ma'am, I'm -- Mr. President --

THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me, that's enough.

Q Mr. President, I had one other question if --

THE PRESIDENT: Peter. Let's go.

Q -- I may ask on the Russia investigation. Are you concerned that you may have indictments --

THE PRESIDENT: I'm not concerned about anything with the Russia investigation because it's a hoax.

Q -- that you may indictments coming down? Are you --

THE PRESIDENT: That's enough. Put down the mic.

Q Mr. President, are you worried about indictments coming down in this investigation?

Q Mr. President --

THE PRESIDENT: I'll tell you what: CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn't be working for CNN.

Go ahead.

Q I think that's unfair.

THE PRESIDENT: You're a very rude person. The way you treat Sarah Huckabee is horrible. And the way you treat other people are horrible. You shouldn't treat people that way.

Go ahead. Go ahead, Peter. Go ahead.

Q In Jim's defense, I've traveled with him and watched him. He's a diligent reporter who busts his butt like the rest of us.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I'm not a big fan of yours either. So, you know.


Q I understand.

THE PRESIDENT: To be honest with you.

Q So let me -- so let me ask you a question if I can --

Q (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT: You aren't -- you aren't the best.

Q You repeatedly said -- Mr. President, you repeatedly -- over the course of the --

Q (Off-mic.) (Inaudible) called the enemy of the people --

THE PRESIDENT: Okay, just sit down, please.

Q (Off-mic.) (Inaudible) campaign (inaudible) and sent pipe bombs. That's just (inaudible).

THE PRESIDENT: Well, when you report fake news --

Q (Off-mic.) (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT: No. When you report fake news, which CNN does a lot, you are the enemy of the people.

Go ahead.

Q Mr. President, over the course -- over the course of the last several days of the campaign, sir -- sir, at the end of the campaign, you repeatedly said that Americans need to fear Democrats. You said Democrats would "unleash a wave of violent crime that endangers families everywhere." Why are you pitting Americans --

THE PRESIDENT: Because they're very weak on crime.

Q -- why are you pitting Americans against one another, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me. Peter. Peter, what are you -- trying to be him?

Q No, I'm just asking a question.

THE PRESIDENT: Peter, just let me just -- let me just tell you, very simple: Because they're very weak on crime. Because they have often suggested -- members and people within the Democrat Party, at a high level, have suggested getting rid of ICE, getting rid of law enforcement. That's not going to happen, okay?

We want to be strong on the borders. We want to be strong on law enforcement. And I want to -- I want to cherish ICE because ICE does a fantastic job. The -- what they do for us is so -- really, it's so unrecognized how good a job they do.

So we want to take care of them, and we want to hold them very close because they do a good job.

Q But the question, to be clear --

THE PRESIDENT: Okay, yeah, go ahead.

Q -- to be clear, though, the question, sir, is, why are you --

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Sit. Sit down, Peter.

Q -- but the question -- but you didn't answer my question. Just very simply, the question is, why are you pitting Americans against one another, sir?


Q Is that how you view citizens of this country?

THE PRESIDENT: No, I'm not. Well, look, I'll tell you what -- we won a lot of elections last night. We did very well last night, and I think it's going to have --

Q But in many ways, it divided the country.

THE PRESIDENT: -- I think it's going to have a very positive impact. I watched NBC this morning; they didn't report it exactly correctly, but that's, you know, very, very -- that's the fact with NBC. Nothing I can do about that.

But I want this country to have protection. We want security in our country. I want security, Peter. I mean, you maybe don't think it's so important. And I think when you don't have it, you are indeed unleashing crime. I feel that.

Go ahead. Go ahead.

Q You said you would sign an executive order on birthright citizenship. Are you still going to sign the executive order on birthright citizenship?

THE PRESIDENT: You will answer -- you'll ask me that question a little bit later.

Go ahead.

Q Okay.

THE PRESIDENT: Go ahead. Sure.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. The investigation by the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, has been going on since last spring. It's been over --

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