Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Celebrates Victories Despite Losing House; Democrats Win Back U.S. House; Republicans Keep Senate; Record Number Of Women Headed To Congress; McConnell Questions "Presidential Harassment" Strategy. Aired 2- 3p ET

Aired November 7, 2018 - 14:00   ET


HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: We are continuing our coverage of the aftermath of the midterm elections that lead to the Democrats retaking the

House, but Republicans keeping their grip on the Senate. The U.S. President calling it nonetheless close to complete victory for the

Republicans. We have reaction today and analysis, but there is no denying a dramatic new reality in Washington. After Democrats won back the House

of Representatives in midterm elections promising a check on the President's agenda. It's not a one-party system. Or country any more.

Mr. Trump must now work with a divided Congress, as Republicans kept their hold on the Senate.

[14:05:00] There was a news conference that went very long. Almost an hour and a half. The President did pledge to work with both parties, but that

was one of the comments. He also warned House Democrats not to exercise their new power to investigate them. Threatening, essentially, not to

cooperate with them if that happens and potentially looking at launching investigations into them. As far as where the blame lies in terms of

losing control of the House, Mr. Trump began by giving his own party a pat on the back. Listen.


DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: 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 fund-raising 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.


GORANI: Well, the President was attacking the media. More on that in a moment because our own Jim Acosta was involved in a very tense exchange

with Donald Trump. But, first, for our international viewers so many of you followed the results of the midterm elections as they were coming in

and we want to bring you the numbers as they come in now. Votes are still being counted in some Congressional races, but the balance of power as it

is laid out right now. Democrats needed 218 seats to win back control of the House. They have at least 222 and are expected to get a handful more.

Republicans have 199 confirmed seats. On the Senate side, Republicans have at least 51 seats assuring them of a majority. And Democrats have 46 seats

with three seats still up in the air. Obviously, the top Democrat in Washington, I'm talking about Nancy Pelosi reads these numbers very

differently from Donald Trump. Here's what she said.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), CALIFORNIA: The American people want to put an end to unchecked GOP control of Washington restoring, again, the checks and

balances envisioned by our founders. That's a responsibility we have when we take that oath to protect and defend the constitution. And we as

Democrats are here to strengthen the institution in which we serve and not to have it be a rubber stamp for President Trump.


GORANI: Now, this hour we're going to take you across the United States highlighting some of the key races at all levels of government. But let's

begin in Washington with Sarah Westwood and U.S. politics correspondent MJ Lee, she is in Washington, as well. Sarah, the President very much framing

this as a victory for the Republicans.

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right, the President was eager to take credit for the GOP gains in the Senate. He pointed out that

he traveled to a number of the states where Republicans were able to pick off Democratic incumbents last night like Missouri, like Indiana, like

Florida. He sought to place the blame, however, for Republican loss of House majority control on outside factors and history and he even blamed

the Republican incumbents, the nearly two dozen of them so far who lost their seats. He blamed their losses on the fact that those Republicans

didn't embrace his agenda as fully as some of the Republicans who won, which, of course, ignores the fact that those Republicans were running into

more hostile and he indicated he would not be changing his tone and tactics despite the change and control of Congress and he still intends to pursue

funding for his border wall and changes to the immigration system that he has been seeking this entire time and very much trying to frame this for a

win and his party even though he lost control of the lower chamber of Congress.

GORANI: Sure, business as usual and this is a victory for us even though we lost control of the lower House, the House of Representatives. A quick

one to you. What happens now and what changes now that the Democrats are in control of the House for the President?

MJ LEE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, obviously, to point out the very obvious, this is going to be a new Washington with a very different balance

of power here in Washington, D.C. we are going to see, I think, push and pull for the Democrats who are now going to be emboldened now that they are

going to have majority in the House. You know, on the one hand, this means that they can now try to go for some legislative victories. Whether it's

on issues like infrastructure or lowering drug prices and issues that Democrats believe they could get buy in from Republicans on where there is

bipartisan sort of cooperation that they could see coming so that they could try to get something done.

[14:10:00] On the other hand, with this power also means that Democrats can now do things like hand out subpoenas and have investigative hearings that

really target the President or people close to the President including cabinet members and former Trump associates that were involved in the

campaign. So, the dynamic that I'm talking about can now do things like hand out subpoenas and have investigative hearings that really target the

President or people close to the President including cabinet members and former Trump associates that were involved in the campaign. So, the

dynamic that I'm talking about here is where Democrats both want to get things done legislatively, but they also want to use their new power to put

the President and his associates on the defensive. So, you can easily imagine a situation where this creates a much more toxic environment and so

can one thing happen with the other thing happening in the background, right? Can there be bipartisanship and legislative victories for members

of Congress here on capitol hill when there is also the expectation that there is going to be much more of a toxic relationship between Democrats

and Republicans.

GORANI: Thanks to both of you. CNN political commentator Van Jones says the election didn't deliver the blue wave Democrats were hoping for,

calling it instead a rainbow wave. Joins us from Washington as well as S.E. Cupp. Thanks for being with us. One thing you said on CNN a little

bit earlier was that essentially, S.E., this was a victory for the President and every candidate he campaigned for ended up winning. So that,

therefore, in those Republican districts and areas where the President shows up, it's a victory for him.

S.E. CUPP, CNN HOST: Yes. Certainly not every candidate that the President campaigned for. They didn't all win. Scott walker lost a number

of House Republicans lost, but enough won that it should be cautionary tale for Democrats. This was not a wave of any color. I'm sorry, it doesn't

give me any pleasure to say this. This was not a wave. This was a stark reminder the Democrats have not yet figured out how to beat Donald Trump at

Donald Trump. And that has huge implications for 20. The microtargeting in certain elections was good in some places, not others. But certainly,

in the Senate where Republicans picked up more seats than we all expected they would. And in a lot of the governors races that Democrats expected to

win, Trump had a very good night. And I still don't see a central message or strategy from Democrats going forward to unite the party against Donald

Trump. It just isn't there.

GORANI: And internationally, Van, people were fascinated by the midterms. I can tell you in the past British viewers, French viewers, nobody was

staying up to watch results trickle in from midterm elections. This time they were because they saw this as a referendum on Donald Trump. If that's

what it was, what was the verdict?

VAN JONES, CNN HOST: Well, I see it differently than S.E. Cupp. This was a wave by any measure. The Tea Party, for instance, won by, I think, 6.8

percent of margin. This was a 9 percent bigger than tea party wave, bigger than Newt Gingrich's wave. Gerrymandering has been so severe that even

though we have huge numbers bigger than their waves, we don't get the same number of seats. Also, I think it's important to point out, we did lose

some big marquee races and you're talk about Florida which hasn't had a Democratic governor in quite some time. Having a young African-American

progressive come within a whisker of winning there and African-American female progressive coming within a whisker in Georgia and so, we were not

able to break through in the south. I don't think anybody who knows anything about the United States is shocked. We came very, very close.

And, so, I think that President Trump did well in terms of the Senate. But there was a real wave and repudiation and I think much more interestingly,

the reason I call a rainbow wave, the kind of coalition that we put together looks more like what America is becoming. It's younger, browner,

more women, more LGBTQ and it was a rainbow wave with a lot of firsts from native Americans and Muslims and everybody else. I think it puts us in a

good position for 20. S.E. Cupp is right, we don't have the message, but we have the momentum.

[14:15:00] CUPP: That is a good lesson for Republicans. The electorate is changing and we are electing different kinds of people and if Republicans

think they can keep squeezing by on the backs of old white guys, their day of reckoning is coming. It just didn't come yesterday.

GORANI: It didn't come yesterday and we see it with the Senate results. By the way I want to ask you, S.E., about what happened with Jim Acosta and

this news conference. This is the day after these very important mid-term elections and the President and our colleague, the White House

correspondent Jim Acosta had this exchange. Listen.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's not an invasion --

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: Honestly, I think you should let me run the country and you run CNN. That's enough. Put down the mike.

ACOSTA: Are you worried about indictments coming down in this investigation?

TRUMP: 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.


GORANI: CNN issued a statement saying, "We stand behind Jim Acosta and his fellow journalists everywhere." S.E., what should we make at this at this

stage of the term presidency?

S.E. CUPP: This is a small taste of what is to come. This is a President who's somewhat now against the ropes that he is not entirely surrounded by

yes men and people who will do his dirty work. He has an opposition now in Democrats and maybe more adversarial press which, by the way, it's our job.

It's not our job to be liked. It is our job to ask tough questions.

GORANI: We would have chosen another job, if that was our job.

CUPP: Tell me about it. Tell me about it.

GORANI: Yes. I mean, this was, I guess, not surprising, but the intensity of it surprised some. Van Jones, I want to ask you lately about the pbs

correspondent question. She asked a perfectly reasonable question and this is what happened.


YAMICHE ALCINDOR, PBS WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Hi, Mr. President. I'm with "PBS Newshour." you called yours a nationalist on the campaign trail.

Some people --

TRUMP: That's such a racist question.

YAMICHE: Reporter: There are some saying the Republican party is seen as supporting the nationalists --

TRUMP: I don't believe that. Why do I have my highest poll numbers ever with African-Americans? Why do I have among the highest poll numbers with

African-Americans? That's such a racist question. Honestly, I mean, I know you have it written down and you're going to tell me. Let me tell

you, that's a racist question. You know what the word is? I love our country. I do. You have nationalists, you have globalists. I also love

the world. And I don't mind helping the world. But we have to straighten out our country first. We have a lot of problems. Excuse me. To say what

you said to me is so insulting to me. It's a very terrible thing that you said.


GORANI: Van, it's interesting because this is the kind of thing that probably led to the President's party making somewhat of a retreat in these

midterm elections. And he's doubling down.

JONES: Well, I mean, he doubles, triples and quadruples down. If you ask a question about a term nationalist, that's not racism. So, but, here's

what I think your international viewers will recognize. Trump is behaving more like a traditional right-wing authoritarian strong man in power. He's

not acting like a traditional President or prime minister at a western democracy. He's acting like an authoritarian strong man and those people

have contempt for any center of power that is not their own. Whether it's the media or the courts or the opposition party. That's how he conducts

himself and we have a pro-democracy movement in the United States that showed up yesterday that took back the House and ended one party rule in

the United States and will continue making progress forward. This pro- democracy movement has a number of challenges and flaws and problems. But I hope the world has noticed that there is not unanimity at all. That this

is the direction the United States should go. A pro-democracy movement in the United States. We took the House back yesterday. We will try to get

the rest of our country back on track and, frankly, people in both parties are appalled by the behavior of Donald Trump.

GORANI: Van Jones, S.E. Cupp, thanks to both of you.

A lot more to come this evening. Too close to call. The governor's race in the U.S. state of Georgia is one of several nail-biters a day after the

mid-term elections. We'll find out why the trailing candidate thinks she can force a runoff at this stage.

Plus, calling for a recount. Florida Senate Democrat says his Republican challenger jumped the gun on claiming victory. That and worldwide reaction

to the results of these midterm elections coming up later.


GORANI: I want us to take a look at some of the high-profile state contests in the midterm elections because they are representative of what

is happening countrywide and then you have these very closely watched governor races including the one in Georgia. Now, a day after the midterms

it remains undecided for now. The Republican Brian Kemp, Georgia Secretary of State, who happens to oversee the state's election that he was running

in holds a small lead over the Democrat Stacey Abrams. Abrams is refusing to concede. Nick Valencia has been closely watching this race and joins me

from Atlanta. So, there have been many complaints about voter suppression, Stacey Abrams says she will not concede. Where are we at in this process?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is a bitter race, Hala. Still continuing here 24 hours after the polls closed. Nearly 24 hours, I should

say. Stacey Abrams believes she has enough absentee ballots. You need 50 percent, plus one, to officially be the winner. At this point when we woke

up this morning, kemp was ahead, the Republican candidate in this race was ahead by 80,000 votes and Stacey Abrams has been able to chip away it has

been about the turn out and Trump effect and voter suppression and to sort of bring our viewers up to speed leading up to this election 47,000 pending

voter registrations and those pending voting registration, disproportionately were made up of African-American and Latino voters.

Accused Brian Kemp and the top election officials for voter suppression. Brian kemp denied those allegations and said he was merely maintaining the

voting rules operating within the state. Many people here, including former President jimmy carter asked Secretary of State kemp and he denied

that and decided not to do that. Many people say there was a conflict of interest on kemp's part. Hala?

GORANI: What is Stacey Abrams waiting for now? Absentee ballots and does she want to force a runoff in a few weeks?

VALENCIA: The final vote may hinge on these provisional ballots. We checked in with the state election official. They weren't able to tell us

how many ballots were unaccounted for. There are still counties in this state who have not submitted their final tally. We should tell our viewers

the counties have until November 13th to get this done in turn the Secretary of State has until November 20th to certify the election. Even

if this race doesn't go into a runoff, which is what Stacey Abrams want, this state could be without a governor elect for up to two weeks when the

Secretary of State is given that deadline to certify this election. Stacey Abrams was very confident and Brian Kemp did not officially declare

victory, but he said the math is in his favor and he believes this is his race to lose. Hala.

[14:25:00] GORANI: Nick Valencia in Atlanta, thanks very much. To Florida now where a Democrat bill nelson, the incumbent, calling for a

recount. Nelson says the challenger Republican Governor Rick Scott prematurely declared victory. According to CNN projections Wednesday

morning Scott's lead was within half a percent. Here's why that is important, because recounts in Florida are automatic at that point but not

triggered by candidate requests. For a closer look at that race. Rosa Flores joins me live from Miami. This matters because it is a Senate race

and in the Senate the Democrats have not performed as well as expected, even losing a couple seats. They really cannot afford another loss.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're absolutely right. They really can't. And you're right when you mention that this is a premature victory

on behalf of Governor Rick Scott because at this point, we are still waiting for the official results to come out. Now, what we have seen is

that these two camps have been trading barbs, in essence. They have been throwing punches at each other. I want to share with you some of the

things they have been saying back and forth. This is from the nelson camp saying, quote, last night Scott prematurely claimed victory after fox news

had called him the winner. Rick Scott's camp fired back saying, quote, this race is over. It's a sad way for bill nelson to end his career. He

is desperately trying to hold on to something that no longer exists. Now, the minutia here is important, Hala. Because as you mentioned, even though

bill nelson is calling for a recount, it's the Secretary of State that can actually order a recount. And Secretary of State can't even do it now

because they have to wait for the first unofficial results, which will be turned in on Saturday. At that point, if the result is within the margin

of 0.5 percent, it goes into an automatic recount. Now, after that, they have five days to do this machine recount. Once those results are

submitted, if the margin is at 0.25 or smaller, then it's a manual recount. So, imagine that.

GORANI: How long does that take, potentially? It sounds like a long process.

FLORES: You know, it would be. Running the ballots through the machines would be a lot faster when it comes to a recount. You know, of course,

because they run those ballots very quickly. You know, I don't know how many they do an hour, but presumably, it's a faster process. They have

about five days to do that. But when you're talking about a manual recount. When you're literally having human beings going ballot by ballot

and you're talking about, you know, millions of ballots to be counted. I don't know how long that would take. But it would be very, very laborious.

GORANI: All right. Rosa Flores in Miami. Thanks very much.

Still to come, oh, I was going to say, manual counting was the norm just a few years ago. It's not, it is something that has been done and it's just

a question of having two or three people check the pieces of paper one after the other. Hopefully we'll have some clarity before we get to that.

Now, with the midterms behind him, where will Donald Trump turn his attention to next? Tariffs, trade and sanctions. We'll discuss that in

just a moment.

Plus, women win big in the U.S. midterms. Scoring a record number of seats in the House of Representatives. We'll have all those details. Not just

the women. It's minority. Two Muslims now entering Congress. We'll bring you what's new after the break.


[14:30:45] HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Well, back to our top story now, the winners and the losers in Tuesday's midterm elections in

America. Donald Trump doesn't hold formal news conferences as often, but when he does, it's truly something to behold.

The U.S. president went from celebrating to angry numerous times during his hour and a half conversation with reporters. He credited Republicans'

success in the Senate to his hard work on the campaign trail. Though even commentators on the left tend to agree with him on that. He said

Republicans who lost in the House should have been more eager to embrace their party's leader.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'll be honest. I thought it was a -- I thought it was a very close to complete victory. We saw the

candidates that I supported. Achieved tremendous success last night.

So, 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.


GORANI: The fact that Democrats will control the House will allow them new oversight of Donald Trump as both a politician and a businessman. There

are already calls for investigations into Mr. Trump's business dealings, especially to see if he has international entanglements that could

influence his foreign policy decisions.

Let's chat more about that and what Mr. Trump may have planned in terms of tariffs, trade, international on foreign policy. I'm joined by the New

York Times European economic correspondent, Peter Goodman. Thanks for being with us.


GORANI: So this -- the world was enthralled, by the way. I was on Twitter yesterday and people in France, in Italy, in the U.K., in the Middle East,

all watching the results but on a granular level. That's how interested they were. Because they saw this as a referendum on Donald Trump.

GOODMAN: I mean, Donald Trump made this a referendum about him. And I think for the rest of the world, certainly on this side of the Atlantic,

there was a sense of, if you've missed the traditional American ally, the United States that's committed to European integration, that is a

participant in multi-lateral group that champion the Paris Climate Accord. If you've missed that version of the United States --

GORANI: You're not getting it back now.

GOODMAN: Well, you probably aren't. But it turns out there's a lot of people in the United States who have missed that version of America, too.

And they let their voices be heard. And the world, much of the world that is of that mindset interpreted this resolve as a sign that, you know, well,

maybe we can just wait a couple of years and we'll get that America back.

GORANI: Is it a bit of wishful thinking here? Because the president, still, and his cabinet secretaries and his envoys are the ones in charge of

foreign policy, of setting the tone. That's not going to change.

GOODMAN: Oh, Trumpism is not over. I mean, it might actually get more intense from a global standpoint because Trump's agenda domestically is

likely to be bottled up and more likely to spend the next couple of years talking about Democratic subpoenas, digging into his tax returns, if they

can get them. His foreign entanglements through his company. I mean, they're building golf courses in the United Arab Emirates. He's got

personal real estate dealings all over the world.

So that's going to dominate the agenda. It's going to be very difficult for him to get anything passed. I mean, the wall he wants to build on the

Mexican border. That just got very complicated. Cuts to social services that were back to austerity in the United States. That's probably


So, what's Donald Trump going to do? What he might do is go and take refuge in the areas where he actually is in control, like trade policy,

like project the military.

GORANI: Because it's something that he could make a decision on quickly and decisively and unilaterally.

GOODMAN: He doesn't need congressional ascend --

GORANI: This is what he said when he was asked about the possibility that Democrats in Congress could now be interested in investigating him.



TRUMP: -- fatigue. Like from the time, almost from the time I announced I was going to run. They've been giving us this investigation fatigue. 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.


[14:35:19] GORANI: So, he's basically saying if the Democrats want to play that game, hey, me and the Republican-controlled Senate can play the same


GOODMAN: He's a fighter. I mean to the -- to the core, he's also very successful reality television star and he's not going to be on television

getting attacked by one side without hitting back.

The truth may suffer. Process may suffer. We know that he's not the greatest champion of the rule of law, but he will use the power that he's

got at his disposal to hit back.

GORANI: We aired Donald Trump's news conference in its entirety and a few minutes after he wrapped it up, Nancy Pelosi, the presumed next majority

leader in the House spoke. The difference in tone, in style, in presence, in charisma was huge. I mean, not talking about politics here. Just

talking about personalities.


GORANI: Yes. And it's something people in the age of reality TV and social media are potentially receptive to. The big personality.

GOODMAN: He is very successful at reaching his base and continuing to perform. And to demonstrate that he is not beholden to, you know,

conceptions of political correctness, decorum, etiquette. He plays by his own rules. And if that's something that you happen to like, then you're

cheering him on. And if you're concerned that that's going to prevent progress on anybody's agenda in Washington, well, that's probably where we

are now.

GORANI: Internationally, he's not popular. I mean, in France, in the U.K. I'm thinking in the countries we visit often.

GOODMAN: Extremely unpopular.

GORANI: Very unpopular. So many of the people who are watching this midterm election, frankly, I think, were hoping that this would be a

decisive defeat of Trump and Trumpism. In fact, it was not at all.


GORANI: Because you did have the Democrats take control of the House with an extra couple dozen seats, but they lost seats in the Senate. This

wasn't, I mean, Obama was punished more in 2010 than Trump this year.


GORANI: How do we explain this to the world?

GOODMAN: Explaining Trump to the world is a complex undertaking. But I think it's --

GORANI: Maybe not Trump, but his appeals. His appeal in America. He's still in the mid-40s in favorability.

GOODMAN: There are large numbers of people in the United States who have not shared in decades of prosperity. Prosperity for American companies.

Prosperity for the wealthiest people in the United States.

Now, Trump has rewarded the wealthiest people in the United States. And these tax cuts have been delicious. Our corporate America has done very

well, thanks to deregulation and a booming stock market.

What Trump has been doing is serving that constituency while running a kind of alternate reality. A reality television show for the people who flipped

from Obama to him. These are mostly white, working class people who have seen their income stagnate over decades. And in many cases, he's actually

hurt those people. He's taking away their healthcare. The job growth that we've seen while it's robust is a continuation of what we saw under his


GORANI: But this tells you, it's not really about the numbers. This tells you there's another dimension here.

GOODMAN: There's kind of a tribal element to this and he's very good at signaling to his base that, you know, I'm on your side. I hear you. I'm

not playing by anybody's rules. You know, this whole making America great again, I mean, that caters to a kind of insecure conception of the United

States as if the U.S. has been played for suckers in the global economy.

He's continuing to project that to his base and it's working. The question is, was there any other outcome from this election? I mean, personally, I

would argue that if the Republicans had maintained control over both Houses of Congress, then Trump would have been emboldened and we would have seen

more tariffs and a faster attempt to potentially blow up the world trade organization.

Now, he's lost control of the House, which means whatever he wants to do domestically, he's going to be bottled up. Again, that could come out as

frustration that takes us to exactly the same place where he reaches for what he's in control of.

GORANI: Well, the good thing is we'll be here covering it every day.

GOODMAN: That seems certain.

GORANI: That's one thing that's for certain. Not many things are.

Peter, thanks so much for joining us.

GOODMAN: Thank you.

GORANI: Really appreciate it.

Now, women running for office made some huge gains across the political spectrum in these elections, but especially in the House of

Representatives. Jessica Dean breaks it all down.



JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tuesday brought celebrations across the U.S. for the record-breaking number of women who made history

with their victories. They ran and won in unprecedented numbers. Adding over 30 seats in the House. Many are Democrats inspired to run in response

to President Trump.

[14:40:06] JENNIFER WEXTON (D), VIRGINIA CONGRESSWOMAN-ELECT: We sent a message that we want a better nation. That we demand a better nation.

DEAN: Former Navy commander, Elaine Luria turned Virginia's second Congressional district blue. Like many of the women elected, she's a

first-time candidate.

ELAINE LURIA (D), VIRGINIA CONGRESSWOMAN-ELECT: We've spent two years waiting for someone to stand up to the partisanship and the division in


DEAN: 29-year-old New York Democrat and self-described Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez will be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

OCASIO-CORTEZ: -- that all our actions, no matter how small or how large, are powerful, worthwhile and capable of lasting change.

DEAN: Diversity extended beyond their gender.


DEAN: 2018 also saw the first Muslim women elected to serve in the House, Democrats Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

OMAR: The first woman to wear hijab to represent us in Congress.

DEAN: Democrat Sharice Davids from Kansas and Deb Haaland of New Mexico earned their place in history, becoming the first Native American women in


DEB HAALAND (D), NEW MEXICO CONGRESSWOMAN-ELECT: I think representation is important. I think diversity is important and every voice deserves a seat

at the table.

DEAN: Democrats made it a priority to get more women to that table in 2018, but Republican women made their mark Tuesday night, too.

Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn supports President Trump who returned the favor. Stumping for her multiple times. Blackburn will

become the first female senator from Tennessee.

MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), TENNESSEE SENATOR-ELECT: Now, you don't have to worry if you're going to call me congressman or congresswoman or congress

lady. Now, senator will do.

DEAN: Republican Congresswoman, Kristi Noem will now answer to governor, becoming the first woman in South Dakota to do so.

DEAN (on camera): It wasn't all good news for women. Incumbent Democratic senators Claire McCaskill and Heidi Heitkamp lost their seats in high-

profile races.

But Tuesday marked a turning point as the congressional representation of women got a little closer to matching the percentage of women in America.

Jessica Dean, CNN, Washington.


GORANI: Well, so, President Trump's party lost control of the House, but he's still claiming a big midterm win. How do the results measure up

historically? Larry Sabato is a U.S. presidential historian and he joins me via skype from Charlottesville, Virginia.

Could you put these results of these midterm elections in historical context, Larry?

LARRY SABATO, U.S. PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Certainly, Hala. It was a split decision, but it's a decision that favored Democrats more than


People are forgetting to calculate the gain of seven-state governorships in about 350 state legislative positions by Democrats, including some very big

and important states, Wisconsin just to mention one. That was one of the three states that put President Trump over the top in 2016.

Now, having said that, of course you're right to point to the fact that Republicans added Senate seats, but we don't know how many yet. They added

a few, maybe two or three. But that was completely expected. It's what most of us have been predicting for the entire year because of the

territory on which the Senate races were being fought.

Red territory voted Republican. Blue territory voted Democratic, but the change was the purple competitive territory in the suburbs went pretty

strongly Democratic.

GORANI: And, also, for our international viewers, the idea that you have this division of power in the Senate, but in terms of the popular vote,

once again, the Democrats were ahead with more than 55 percent. Yet ended up with fewer seats in the Senate. What does this tell us about 2020?

About going forward?

SABATO: Remember, the Senate is a big component of the Electoral College. It's one reason why Donald Trump lost the popular vote by almost three

million and yet became president. It is not impossible the same thing could happen again in 2020.

The American constitution needs revision. Many of us had been advocating that for decades and it's scheduled for the 12th of never.

GORANI: Right. So, you were going to continue to see potential outcomes where the popular vote favors one side, but it's the other one that gains


But let's talk a little bit about how this changes things for the president himself. For Donald Trump. And how he -- and how he runs the executive

branch. The fact that now the Democrats, it's not a one-party -- it's not one-party rule any more.

SABATO: It certainly isn't. And it changes things more than Trump really understands. He's never been in government before and he's had the luxury

of working with Republican-controlled senators and House members. Well, that's over in the House. And now it means that any major bill that he

submits, Hala, will not pass unless it's bipartisan and very few things are bipartisan today. Plus, the investigations. Just wait, just wait, Hala.

[14:45:19] GORANI: Well, I wanted to ask you about these investigations because Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader said, be careful what

you wish for, essentially, because Bill Clinton, when he was president was, obviously, the target of a huge investigation and what it did, according to

Mitch McConnell, is it helped his popularity. So, he's telling Democrats, be careful about investigating Trump. Listen to Mitch McConnell.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: The whole issue of presidential harassment is interesting. I remember when we tried it in the late '90s,

we impeached President Clinton, his numbers went up and ours went down and we underperformed in the national election.

So, the Democrats and the House will have to decide just how much presidential harassment they think is good strategy. I'm not so sure it

will work for them.


GORANI: What do you make of it? He's calling it harassment. I mean, this is obviously would be an investigation which is what some Democrats are

hoping will happen. What do you make of this analysis of Mitch McConnell's?

SABATO: That's an interesting term. Presidential harassment. One might also say it's the way the founders designed the constitution to work. It's

called checks and balances.

And, by the way, the Republicans didn't just harass Bill Clinton. They tried it for another eight years with Barack Obama. So they do know what

they're talking about there.

Listen, if it's impeachment, Hala, it would be the dumbest move imaginable by the Democrats. But Nancy Pelosi already knows that. She's ruled it

out. It would backfire and it would never work. You'd never get 67 senators to vote to oust Trump.

They're going after his tax returns. He's the only president since the '70s not to release his tax returns. Who knows what they'll find in there?

But there's got to be some reasons why he doesn't want them public.

GORANI: My producer is telling me we have some breaking news that President Trump has asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign. We

understand this happened today. Reaction, Larry.

SABATO: You mean he just got around to it? Actually, I think he's asked him to resign about 20 times but Sessions hasn't. Everybody expected this.

What's he doing today? He's changing the subject. He doesn't want the headlines to be Democrats take over House.

Look, we'll see. And he's got a Senate with more Republicans. He can probably get anybody confirmed. One of his cronies probably as attorney


GORANI: All right. With more on this breaking news, thanks very much, Larry Sabato. My colleagues Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper are in

Washington. Let's take you there.