Donald Trump appeared to get a backhanded compliment from Japanese PM Shinzo Abe during the G-20 Summit, with the leader complimenting Trump on his “historic victory in the midterm election in the United States.”
The recent midterm elections were seen largely as a referendum on Trump’s leadership, and Democrats responded with a huge turnout that allowed them to retake the House by the largest margin since the post-Watergate election. Though Republicans were able to hold the Senate and flip some seats in red states, they saw widespread losses, even in areas that had been seen as safe. Though Trump tried to paint the election as a victory, it was seen as a resounding defeat for the party and a major rebuke of his own leadership.
The losses appeared to be especially sore for Donald Trump, who has lashed out on Twitter with greater frequency in the week after the election. There were also reports that he snapped at British Prime Minister Theresa May when she called to congratulate Trump on his party’s midterm successes. As the Washington Post reported, Trump fixated on May’s decision not to support his decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and for her position on Brexit negotiations.
Prime Minster Abe of Japan congratulates Trump "on his historic victory in the midterm election in the United States."— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) November 30, 2018
Donald Trump has already generated plenty of controversy during his brief trip to Argentina for the G-20 summit. Just before leaving on Thursday, Trump said that he still planned a private meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, despite Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine this week in seizing a navy ship. But within hours, the White House announced that the meeting was indeed canceled due to Russia’s actions toward Ukraine.
Watch: Trump-Russia investigative reporter reveals why entire Trump family will be snared by Russian investigationhttps://t.co/YxxGWRtNuF— Raw Story (@RawStory) December 1, 2018
Donald Trump has also been especially testy in recent days as the Russia investigation continues to move into his inner circle. This week, former campaign manager Paul Manafort was accused of continuing to lie to investigators as he negotiated a plea deal, and Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, also pleaded guilty to new charges that he lied to investigators about Trump’s attempts to land a deal in Moscow during the 2016 campaign.
The new charges came just before Trump left for the G-20 Summit, which seems to be a tactic for Robert Mueller’s team. Just before Trump held a private meeting with Putin in Helsinki earlier this year, Mueller’s team announced an indictment of 12 Russian military officers for interfering in the 2016 presidential election.
The report did not specify how Donald Trump responded to the possibly tongue-in-cheek congratulations from Shinzo Abe about his party’s midterm successes.