Trump touts 'tremendous success' after GOP loses House

President TrumpDonald John TrumpAvenatti ‘still considering’ presidential run despite domestic violence arrest Mulvaney positioning himself to be Commerce Secretary: report Kasich: Wouldn’t want presidential run to ‘diminish my voice’ MORE declared the results of Tuesday's midterm elections a "tremendous success," even as Democrats were projected to take control of the House.

"Tremendous success tonight. Thank you to all!" Trump tweeted as race calls were still pouring in.

In a subsequent pair of tweets, Trump shared a quote from conservative commentator Ben Stein, who called the president a "magic man" for helping Republicans expand their majority in the Senate. 

He also agreed with a Fox News commentator who said many GOP candidates "owe him their political career."

The Republicans' loss of the House is a significant blow for the president, who will have to contend with a Democratic majority that is eager to place a check on his leadership.

ADVERTISEMENT

But Trump's abbreviated reaction reflects what the White House has signaled for days: if the GOP kept control of the Senate and pulled off wins in in a handful of key gubernatorial races, the president would declare victory.

"I think a huge victory for the president tonight, with the announcement of the Senate looking like it's definitely going to stay with Republicans," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on NBC.

The president and his team also sought to skirt blame for losses in the House, which some Republican strategists argued he worsened with his divisive rhetoric on immigration and by framing the contests a referendum on his presidency.

Trump spent the last week holding raucous campaign rallies to drive home his message in states he won with competitive Senate and governors' races, an effort which Sanders said "we're seeing pay off."

The GOP flipped Senate seats in Florida, Indiana and Missouri, all states where Trump made two stops in the final days of the campaign.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenators introduce Trump-backed criminal justice bill On The Money: Senior GOP senator warns Trump against shutdown | Treasury sanctions 17 Saudis over Khashoggi killing | HQ2 deal brings new scrutiny on Amazon | Senate confirms Bowman to Fed board Senior GOP senator warns Trump against partial shutdown MORE (R-Ky.) called Trump on Tuesday to thank him for his campaign stops on behalf of Republicans.

Keeping the Senate majority will allow Trump to continue placing conservative judges on federal courts in the next two years leading up to his reelection race, an effort that has further endeared him to GOP voters.

Republicans were also projected to keep control of governor's mansions in Ohio and Florida, two key states for Trump's campaign in 2020.

But until that time, Trump will likely be forced to battle Democratic-led investigations in the House on everything from his tax returns to his businesses and administration. 

That could leave White House politically and legally besieged as Trump gears up for his reelection.

Trump called House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiDem lawmaker: 'There's plenty of competent females' that can be Speaker instead of Pelosi Marcia Fudge under spotlight as Pelosi Speaker fight heats up Election Countdown: Florida Senate race heads to hand recount | Dem flips Maine House seat | New 2020 trend - the 'friend-raiser' | Ad war intensifies in Mississippi runoff | Blue wave batters California GOP MORE (D-Calif.) late Tuesday night to congratulate her on the Democrats' victory in the lower chamber, according to Pelosi's office. The call came despite the fact Sanders earlier suggested Trump would not reach out.

Sanders said on Fox News before the House was called that Trump is "willing to work across the aisle to get things done," but implied that the president could use Democrats as a foil if they overplay their hand on oversight investigations.

"If Democrats take the House, they shouldn’t waste time investigating, they should focus on what the people put them there to do," she said.

Pelosi, who is expected to become the next Speaker, promised after Tuesday's victory that she would offer a "bipartisan marketplace of ideas," saying the "American people want results" and have "had enough of division."

After spending the last several weeks in the public eye at numerous campaign rallies and in media appearances, Trump remained out of view on Election Day.

He spent much of the day inside the White House phoning friends and advisers and monitoring elections results on television, according to sources close to the administration. His Twitter feed was relatively tame, tweeting out a handful of candidate endorsements and voting information.

Trump later hosted a reception at the White House for family members, friends, major donors and staffers to monitor election returns.

The president has no public events scheduled for Wednesday, but is expected to weigh in further on the mixed results of Tuesday's midterms.

-Updated Nov. 7 at 1:51 a.m.