“Andrew Gillum conceded Florida’s governor’s race on Saturday as a recount of ballots neared its end, and the Democrat congratulated Republican former Rep. Ron DeSantis on becoming the state’s next governor,” Reuters reports.
Said Pence: “Let’s just leave it that we had a good laugh, and you know, the president said to me, ‘There are no anonymous sources that would say what that article said.'”
He added: “The president and I are very close. We have a very strong relationship. And I’ve been honored to serve as his vice president. And I was honored when he asked me to run with him again.”
Politico reports Trump called the story “fake news” with “made up sources.”
Washington Post: “Some Democrats are pushing the idea of a new comprehensive immigration plan akin to bipartisan legislation that foundered five years ago. Others want to focus attention on the narrower goal of granting legal status to undocumented immigrants known as ‘dreamers,’ who have lived in the country illegally since they were children and whose cause is broadly popular with the public.”
“But the boldest, and most controversial, Democratic rebuttal to Trump’s bumper-sticker sloganeering has come from progressive newcomers, most prominently Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who swept to victory behind calls to “abolish ICE” — the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, with 20,000 employees — over perceived abuses.”
Washington Post: “Just 13 GOP women have won election so far to serve in the next Congress, down from 23 this year. With a half dozen races yet to be resolved, the House GOP — the minority party next year — is all but certain to have the lowest number of women in its ranks since 1994.”
“That drop off came amid a national political climate that saw female voters sharply break from Republicans. Women favored Democrats over Republicans for Congress, 59 percent to 40 percent, according to exit polls.”
“It’s set off an internal debate within the Republican Party about how to address this crisis, both in terms of appealing to female voters and then recruiting and retaining women in Congress.”
President Trump suggested he was prepared to shut down the federal government next month if Congress fails to give him the money he wants to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, the Washington Post reports.
Said Trump: “If I was ever going to do a shutdown over border security — when you look at the caravan, when you look at the mess, when you look at the people coming in… This would be a very good time to do a shutdown.”
“A U.S. Senate runoff that was supposed to provide an easy Republican win has turned into an unexpectedly competitive contest, driving Republicans and Democrats to pour in resources and prompting a planned visit by President Trump to boost his party’s faltering candidate,” the Washington Post reports.
“Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith stumbled recently when, in praise of a supporter, she spoke of her willingness to sit with him in the front row of a public hanging — words that, in the South, evoked images of lynchings. She has struggled to grapple with the fallout, baffling members of her party and causing even faithful Republicans to consider voting for her opponent, former congressman Mike Espy.”
“That Espy is attempting to become the state’s first black senator since shortly after the Civil War made her remarks all the more glaring.”
Politico reports President Trump has scheduled a rally for later this month help Hyde-Smith’s candidacy.
Dan Balz: “All presidents suffer defeats and setbacks, whether through elections, legislative battles, international events or scandals. Most learn from them and adapt. Will President Trump be an exception?”
“That’s the question ahead for the president: Will the second two years of his first term be any different from the first two years? His actions and words in the days following the midterm elections indicate things actually could get worse rather than better. He has never been a gracious winner. In defeat, he has shown worse: ill-tempered, withdrawn, even more unpredictable.”
“It may be premature to draw a conclusion about what lessons he has learned, but rather than moving to mitigate the damage done to his party in the midterms or to assert international leadership, Trump has done the opposite in the days since the elections. He has reinforced what his presidency has wrought, domestically and internationally, and left others to worry about what comes next.”
Playbook: “Any Republican who votes for Pelosi would probably get a primary challenge. Kevin McCarthy — who is flying with Trump to California today — might have a different take on this.”
“More than 2,000 women will serve in state legislatures when those chambers convene for their upcoming sessions, representing roughly a quarter of all state lawmakers across the country. That mark will eclipse the record of 1,875 who served this year,” the AP reports.
“The number could rise as ballot-counting concludes in close contests across the country. The Associated Press has not yet called 216 state legislative elections, races that include about 185 female candidates.”
“In another first, women could end up holding the majority in two state legislative chambers at the same time — the Colorado House and Nevada Assembly… The only previous time women comprised the majority in a state legislative chamber was in 2009 and 2010 in New Hampshire’s state Senate.”
NBC News: “To have a chance at overcoming Gov. Rick Scott’s 12,603-vote lead in their Senate race, incumbent Bill Nelson (D-FL) desperately needed a manual statewide recount to show that tens of thousands of votes here in Democrat-heavy Broward County had been misread by scanners.”
President Trump said that he would deliver his written responses to questions from special counsel Robert Mueller next week, The Hill reports.
Said Trump: “They’re all done.”
“Oh please, no. Never. Never. Never.”
— Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), quoted by Roll Call, saying she intends to win the speakership with Democratic votes and would not accept help from help from Republicans.
President Trump tweeted that Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) would be elected again as House Speaker, adding that she “deserves” the post.
Said Trump: “I can get Nancy Pelosi as many votes as she wants in order for her to be Speaker of the House. She deserves this victory, she has earned it — but there are those in her party who are trying to take it away. She will win!”
“In the wake of a near-political annihilation in California that has left even longtime conservative stronghold Orange County bereft of a single Republican in the House of Representatives, a growing chorus of GOP loyalists here say there’s only one hope for reviving the flatlining party: Blow it up and start again from scratch,” Politico reports.
“That harsh assessment comes as Republicans survey the damage from the devastation of a ‘blue tsunami’ in California which wiped out five GOP-held House seats — with more still threatened — while handing every statewide seat and a supermajority to the Democrats in both houses of the state legislature this week.”
“The number of undocumented immigrant children in government custody has topped 14,000 for the first time, a rise that shows no signs of slowing as the Trump administration enforces policies that are keeping them in government facilities longer,” the San Francisco Chronicle reports.