President Donald Trump softened his typical antagonistic tone toward Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who is set to return as House Speaker after Democrats won the chamber’s majority in Tuesday’s midterm elections.
“We actually have a great relationship,” Trump said of Pelosi, a regular target of his attacks, at a White House news conference on Wednesday. “I give her a great deal of credit for what she’s done and what she’s accomplished.”
“I really respected what Nancy said last night,” Trump said, referring to her call for bipartisanship.
Trump frequently criticizes Pelosi, like many Republicans who use her as a symbol of their disdain for Democrats. But earlier Wednesday, the president said in a perhaps-sarcastic tweet: “In all fairness, Nancy Pelosi deserves to be chosen Speaker of the House by the Democrats. If they give her a hard time, perhaps we will add some Republican votes.”
Pelosi served as the first and only female U.S. House speaker from 2007 to 2011 and helped spearhead the effort to pass President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
Some Democrats elected on Tuesday said during their campaigns that they wouldn’t back her for speaker. Pelosi, 78, has said she would seek to serve as a transition to new leadership, though she never spelled out her plans.