Conway deflects question on Trump's tone

Counselor to President Donald Trump Kellyanne Conway would not say whether the President will continue to call the press "the enemy of the people."

Posted: Nov 7, 2018 9:49 PM
Updated: Nov 7, 2018 9:49 PM

There are two questions that world leaders will have woken up asking themselves on Wednesday morning: 1) how long will President Trump last and 2) is his version of America here to stay?

These are the very same questions they have been asking ever since he came to power two years ago.

But almost before they could interpret what the midterm results mean for them, the US President had his own answer.

At 6:21 a.m. on the US East Coast, he tweeted:

"Received so many Congratulations from so many on our Big Victory last night, including from foreign nations (friends) that were waiting me out, and hoping on Trade Deals. Now we can all get back to work and get things done!"

The read on this, for those world leaders, will have been easy: Trump's zest for hyperbole hasn't been dimmed by his setback in the House of Representatives. This is the case, in large measure no doubt, because he sees wins in the Senate as validation of himself.

Indeed, the very nature of his statement only serves to underline how his often brash tweets -- the trademark of his presidency -- have set a global trend among many leaders for Twitter diplomacy.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas took to Twitter to be among the first of America's allies to interpret what the midterm results meant, tweeting that it is a "misconception to now bet on a course correction from Donald Trump."

The Foreign Minister, however, did hint at a course correction from Germany: "the case remains the US is still our most important partner outside Europe. To maintain this partnership, we need to remeasure and realign our relationship with the US."

In light of this, the answer to the second question seems to be that yes, this version of America is here to stay. Trump, and the desire by many for his divisive rhetoric, is the new normal. Which leaves the first question, how long will he last, two or six more years, unanswered.

Despite this, the midterms did provide valuable clues as to what dealing with Trump after the midterms will be like.

In his typical attempt to set the news agenda in a single tweet style that we've all become so accustomed to, Trump glossed over a political realty that will catch up with him as soon as the new candidates are sworn in. And is something world leaders will be keenly aware of.

Democrats have been handed control of the House of Representatives, overturning a Republican majority and opening the door to all manner of strictures on Trump.

The new House leader, Nancy Pelosi, has already set out her agenda, saying "tomorrow will be a new day in America ... It's about restoring the constitution and its checks and balances to the Trump administration."

By this, she means that Trump will face fights at home that will dwarf challenges he faced until now, leaving him less time to gallivant around the globe, glad-handing autocrats and investing in relationships that bump his poll ratings temporarily.

Pelosi appeared to put taking on Trump's domestic issues and health-care reforms at the top of her list of priorities, talking about "stopping the GOP and Mitch McConnell on the Medicare Medicaid and affordable care act." The new Democrat-controlled House could deluge Trump in a host of distractions that will concern his allies and enable his enemies.

House Democrats will have subpoena power, the power to call for congressional investigations (into issues, for example, like Trump's tax returns). The House will have the power to scrutinize his money dealings, question his relationship with the Kremlin and much more.

China, a trade partner and economic foe, tried to walk the middle ground when reacting to the midterm results. A government official said it will "maintain the healthy and stable development of bilateral ties."

Trade with China is a rare issue of bipartisan consensus in the US these days, so it seems unlikely there will be any change of course here.

Russian malfeasance is another topic garnering bipartisan consensus -- although not the President's handling of it, nor his handling of his relationship with President Putin.

For that particular enemy of America, its midterm takeaway appears to be a negative view, leaving Trump embattled for the next two years; perhaps that's no surprise coming from Putin's autocratic state.

One Russian lawmaker wrote on Facebook that America is looser and that it will become "more unbalanced" due to domestic threats on Trump such as impeachment.

Putin's spokesman, Dimity Peskov, also played down any gains for the Putin Trump relationship, saying he saw "No glowing prospects."

But that is only a partial picture of what a domestically embattled Trump means for America's enemies.

On the eve of the midterms, the US State Department announced Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would be meeting with North Korean counterpart Kim Yong Chol in New York on Thursday this week.

Hours after the results became clear, the State Department announced a delay to the meeting, no reason given.

Only Monday, North Korean sources had told CNN that the Hermit Kingdom could restart nuclear activities, while US national security officials believe they probably never stopped.

Whether this meeting is the first casuality of Trump turning inward following the midterms seems too early to say. Certainly, Pompeo and his predecessor, Rex Tillerson, have faced abrupt about-turns from the White House, as a result of trying to fit around Trump's needs before.

There could be a lot more of this to come. Iran, for one, could be a beneficiary.

Outside of his Gulf partners and Israel, Trump is poles apart from his traditional allies over his policy of pulling out of the multinational nuclear deal and reimposing sanctions.

He may well have less and less time to devote to shoring up support for sanctions, while Iran will have no greater priority that trying to shift global opinion in its favor.

So does all of that add up to two more years, or six?

On that, eyes will be on Nancy Pelosi.

Mess up taking on the President, mire the country in an even swampier DC political logjam where more muck sticks to Democrats than Republicans, and Trump's enemies could look forward to six years of making hay. Meanwhile, the country's allies will have given up on their hope of going back to the old relationship.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 468498

Reported Deaths: 9100
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison31907468
Hinds30552569
DeSoto29532342
Jackson22868335
Rankin21016355
Lee14393214
Madison13961263
Jones13053215
Forrest12879231
Lauderdale11244292
Lowndes10148171
Lamar9972122
Pearl River8569208
Lafayette8008136
Hancock7110107
Oktibbeha6764117
Washington6756146
Neshoba6350200
Monroe6304156
Warren6267159
Panola6036122
Pontotoc599292
Bolivar5960143
Marshall5917115
Union558885
Pike5424133
Lincoln5192127
Alcorn509388
George454766
Scott447392
Leflore4377138
Tippah431780
Itawamba429192
Prentiss429074
Copiah423883
Simpson4238108
Wayne419663
Tate418999
Adams4174109
Yazoo411486
Sunflower4057104
Covington404891
Marion399699
Leake389784
Coahoma385996
Newton360273
Grenada3489100
Stone342657
Tishomingo320987
Attala318285
Jasper308261
Winston298191
Clay282672
Chickasaw277464
Clarke271784
Holmes257685
Calhoun256939
Smith241546
Yalobusha215447
Tallahatchie213849
Walthall203457
Lawrence202431
Greene202045
Perry195053
Amite191251
Webster191141
Noxubee173437
Montgomery168652
Jefferson Davis164041
Carroll158936
Tunica146533
Benton137531
Kemper136538
Claiborne124134
Choctaw123824
Humphreys122036
Franklin114127
Quitman100925
Wilkinson98335
Jefferson85832
Sharkey61620
Issaquena1916
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 757893

Reported Deaths: 12784
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1082301712
Mobile694251158
Madison47738562
Baldwin35347420
Shelby34758281
Tuscaloosa32576495
Montgomery32249645
Lee21576200
Calhoun19621363
Morgan19061307
Etowah18363413
Marshall17028252
Houston15881337
St. Clair14724270
Limestone13908178
Elmore13812239
Cullman13756228
Lauderdale12909263
Talladega12124200
DeKalb11705220
Walker10047303
Autauga9371119
Blount9272146
Jackson8970132
Coffee8550150
Colbert8229160
Dale8162142
Escambia632298
Tallapoosa6255165
Covington6214153
Chilton6152128
Russell586753
Franklin558292
Chambers5155127
Dallas4569173
Marion4490114
Clarke447070
Pike439188
Geneva415999
Lawrence4002101
Winston399982
Bibb388975
Barbour334667
Marengo317778
Monroe306844
Butler305878
Pickens296166
Henry288550
Randolph288255
Hale282981
Cherokee275649
Fayette268569
Washington241844
Crenshaw226962
Clay219260
Macon211154
Cleburne205746
Lamar184638
Conecuh173337
Lowndes167856
Coosa160031
Wilcox153033
Bullock145642
Perry132430
Sumter122635
Greene117941
Choctaw71925
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