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Trump Backs Pelosi for Speaker, Predicts Cooperation

Nancy Pelosi celebrates the Democrats winning a majority in the House of Representatives during a Democratic election night party in Washington, D.C., November 6, 2018. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

President Trump endorsed Nancy Pelosi to lead the newly formed Democratic majority as speaker of the House at a chaotic White House press conference Wednesday, even going so far as to suggest he might help her secure the votes to claim the gavel.

“I think she deserves it. She’s fought long and hard, she’s a very capable person, and you have other people shooting at her trying to take over the speakership,” Trump said of Pelosi. “I said, if it’s appropriate, I said if we can, if she has a problem I think I could very easily supply her the necessary votes.”

“That’s not said in any way other than I really believe she deserves that position. I also think that Nancy Pelosi and I can work together and get a lot of things done, along with Mitch [McConnell] and everybody else that we have to work with,” he added.

One day after Republicans gained three seats in the Senate while losing their majority in the House, Trump cast the election as a victory during the nearly 90-minute press conference and tried to strike a conciliatory note, suggesting he might work with Democrats on a middle-class tax cut and health-care legislation.

When challenged about whether he would be able to cooperate with congressional Democrats while they wielded subpoena power over him, Trump seemed to suggest he would not, saying instead he would be forced to adopt a combative stance if the new majority investigates his administration.

Pelosi has vowed to prioritize gun control and anti-corruption legislation as speaker, though she will likely be forced to first fend off challenges from younger, more progressive members eager to take her spot atop the caucus.

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