Trump calls Pelosi to congratulate her on House win

President Trump called House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) late Tuesday to offer his congratulations after Democrats regained control of the chamber after eight years of Republican rule.

Speaking to reporters roughly an hour later, Pelosi said the president had a simple message. 

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“He said, ‘Congratulations,’ ” Pelosi said, leaving the Hyatt Regency in Washington, where the Democrats had hosted an election watch party that grew increasingly animated as each new Democratic victory was called. 

Drew Hammill, Pelosi's deputy chief of staff, said in a tweet that Trump phoned at 11:45 p.m. — just moments after Pelosi had given a short speech at the Hyatt — and ”acknowledged the Leader’s call for bipartisanship in her victory remarks."

Trump’s call was not expected, after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said just hours earlier that the administration would "need to wait and see who their Speaker is."

"I'm not sure why you would call Nancy Pelosi, considering a lot of members of her own party have said they wouldn't support her," Sanders said. "If Democrats win tonight, I think we need to wait and see who their Speaker is."

Pelosi later expounded on the prospects of finding common ground with a president she frequently attacks, singling out infrastructure as a particularly bipartisan issue. 

“We do want to strive for bipartisanship. Infrastructure’s never been partisan — except, of course, when President Obama wanted to do it and Republicans wanted to obstruct him,” Pelosi said. 

“But it’s always been something we’ve worked together on,” she added. “So that’s what we’re trying to find: What are the unifying issues that bring us together?”

Pelosi, who has made it clear she wants to reclaim the Speaker’s gavel she lost eight years ago, also had a message for those incoming freshman Democrats who have vowed to oppose her bid for Speaker. 

“Congratulations on winning,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi also expressed confidence that she can find the Democratic support to return to the Speaker’s chair, despite some opposition within her own ranks.

“I’m OK,” she said.

Updated at 1:55 a.m.