Political News

Midterm election week in review: Recapping a week like a month

Posted November 9, 2018 7:31 p.m. EST

— HOLY CRAP WHAT A WEEK.

And no, my "caps lock" key wasn't accidentally on. (OR WAS IT?)

We had a national midterm election in which Democrats retook control of the House for the first time in almost a decade. (And Republicans padded their Senate majority.) And yet, within hours, that story -- which is a MASSIVE story -- was pushed out of the headlines by two more:

1) President Donald Trump held an almost 90-minute post-election press conference in which he feuded with reporters, ran down members of his own party who didn't embrace him fully and lost and opened the door for the possibility of working across the aisle with House Democrats.

2) Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replaced him with Sessions' chief of staff, Matt Whitaker. Whitaker, who is now the acting attorney general, is now ostensibly in charge of the Russia interference probe being run by special counsel Robert Mueller.

So. In the space of 36 hours, we had a national election with HUGE political and policy consequences, an absolutely bananas press conference by the President and the removal of the nation's top cop. Even by Trumpian standards, that's one hell of a day and a half.

As often happens with Trump, the media -- not to mention the political world -- struggled to decide what mattered most. Was it the President's party losing one chamber of Congress -- and all that means (increased oversight, investigations and the like)? Or was it Trump seizing control of the Mueller investigation by putting a loyalist who has expressed skepticism about the Mueller probe in charge of said probe? What about Trump accusing a black reporter of asking a "racist" question? Or taking away a CNN reporter's media pass to cover the White House? Or how about the likelihood of recounts in Florida's Senate and governor's races even as Trump tweeted suggesting that Democrats were meddling in the vote?

The Point: Trump does this. He puts 20 pounds of news in a 5-pound bag and sees how things shake out.

The week in 23 headlines:

Monday:

US officially reimposes all sanctions lifted under 2015 Iran nuclear dealCensus citizenship trial slated to beginTrump keeps warning of voter fraud despite lack of evidenceTrump says 'I don't care' if Democrats go after my taxesTrump 'hated' his campaign's closing ad and insisted on immigration pivot

Tuesday:

Democrats capture House, GOP holds SenateTrudeau says Trump's wrong, tariffs had no effect on NAFTA negotiations

Wednesday:

Jeff Sessions out as attorney generalTrump says he has 'never used racist remarks'Defiant Trump declares victory, battles press in wake of midterms

Thursday:

Sessions replacement Matthew Whitaker called Mueller's appointment 'ridiculous' and 'a little fishy'Trump gets another chance to celebrate Kavanaugh at court ceremonyTrump considering Christie, Bondi for attorney generalTrump reviewing his answers to Mueller as he changes who oversees the Russia investigationWhitaker recusal from Mueller probe unlikely, but Rosenstein still involvedAppeals court says Trump administration can't end DACA

Friday:

Trump signs proclamation limiting asylum seekersTrump pushes back at Michelle ObamaTrump hints at potential federal role in Florida recountTrump wishes Ruth Bader Ginsburg well, brings up her 2016 commentsTrump suggests administration will appeal ruling halting Keystone pipeline constructionTrump downplays Whitaker ties amid criticism