Trump settles score with Republicans who didn’t ‘embrace’ him in midterms

President Trump, during a heated White House press conference, took a very public swipe at the Republican congressional candidates who distanced themselves from him during the midterm campaign and ended up losing their seats Tuesday night.

The president touted Republican gains in the Senate but sought to explain why his party was unable to hold the House -- citing in part how many GOP retirements there were. He also strongly suggested that Republican candidates hurt themselves by not embracing him during the campaign.

Trump singled out Reps. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., Mia Love, R-Utah, and other Republicans who lost or were trailing in their re-elections bids. The president said that the Republicans who chose to stay away from him and his agenda did “very poorly” in the midterms.

“Mia Love gave me no love and she lost,” Trump said. “Too bad about that, Mia.”

While Comstock was soundly defeated Tuesday night by Democrat Jennifer Wexton, Love’s race in Utah against Democratic challenger Ben McAdams is still too close to call. According to the Associated Press, McAdams currently holds a slight 51.3 percent to 48.7 percent lead over Love with 68 percent of precincts in the Beehive State reporting.

But the GOP majority has already been upended, as Democrats reclaimed control of the chamber for the first time since 2011.

The president didn’t stop with Love and Comstock on Wednesday as he called out Reps. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., and Mike Coffman, R-Colo., for eschewing the Trump “embrace.”

"Peter Roskam didn't want the embrace. Erik Paulsen didn't want the embrace," Trump said.  "I'm not sure I feel happy or sad. But I feel just fine about it."

FULL MIDTERM RESULTS

Trump’s harsh words for his fellow Republicans did not sit well with one retiring GOP congressman from Pennsylvania.

Ryan Costello, who did not seek another term and saw Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District go to a Democrat on Tuesday, slammed the president for his remarks and suggested that Trump was the reason that so many Republicans lost their seats in the midterms.

"To deal w harassment & filth spewed at GOP MOC’s in tough seats every day for 2 yrs, bc of POTUS; to bite ur lip more times you’d care to; to disagree & separate from POTUS on principle & civility in ur campaign; to lose bc of POTUS & have him piss on u," Costello tweeted during Trump's White House press conference on Wednesday.

"Angers me to my core," he added.

Trump attributed the success of some Republican candidates to his support and his time on the campaign trail. While Republicans lost control of the House on Tuesday, they retained the Senate and picked up a number of seats in states where Trump won by large margins during the 2016 presidential election.

Midterm losses are typical for the party in the White House. Trump stressed the anticipated Republican pickups in the Senate and said the GOP had surpassed expectations in the House, citing the high number of retirements.

"We saw the candidates I supported achieve tremendous success last night," Trump said. "We picked up a lot.”

Trump campaigned repeatedly for Republican Senate and gubernatorial candidates in Missouri, West Virginia, North Dakota, Florida, Georgia and other states where he won in 2016. Several of those candidates won their races Tuesday night, while other contests remained too close to call.

The president also suggested during his press conference that Republicans and Democrats now need to work together.

“Democrats will come to us with a plan for infrastructure, healthcare and will negotiate," Trump said. It really could be a beautiful bipartisan situation.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.