President Donald Trump congratulated House Minority Speaker Nancy Pelosi after the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives despite signals from Sarah Sanders that the president would not do that, a spokesperson for Pelosi confirms that Trump did in fact call the San Francisco Democrat.
“President Trump called Leader Pelosi at 11:45 p.m. this evening to extend his congratulations on winning a Democratic House Majority,” Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill tweeted. “He acknowledged the Leader’s call for bipartisanship in her victory remarks.”
President Trump called Leader Pelosi at 11:45 p.m. this evening to extend his congratulations on winning a Democratic House Majority. He acknowledged the Leader’s call for bipartisanship in her victory remarks.
— Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) November 7, 2018
Earlier on Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that President Trump may not call House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to congratulate her on the Democratic victory, which would have bucked a tradition of recent presidents who have called the leader of the opposing party after losing control of the House.
When speaking to reporters, Sanders said she was “not sure why” Trump would call Pelosi, since it’s unclear if members of her own party would support her bid for the speakership should the Democrats win.
Speaking with reporters on the North Lawn, Sarah Sanders is asked if President Trump will call Nancy Pelosi tonight if Democrats win the House. She said she's not sure why he would, since members of her own party said they wouldn’t support her.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) November 7, 2018
When Democrats took the House during the 2006 midterms, President George W. Bush called Pelosi to congratulate her.
“They had a very good conversation, he congratulated her on their wins,” then-deputy White House press secretary Dana Perino said. “In all of those calls, I would say there was a strong spirit of good will and the president said ‘Congresses change, but issues don’t… I’d characterize it as a very friendly conversation and they pledged to work together.”