President Donald Trump lamented the Republican Party’s candidate selection for the midterm elections during a wide-ranging speech at the Project Safe Neighborhoods National Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, Friday afternoon.
Touting Republican Sen.-elect Josh Hawley’s November victory in the race for a US Senate seat in Missouri, Trump referenced some candidates who “choke” on the campaign trail.
“You pick somebody. Looks good, sounds good,” the President said of backing candidates. “Then they choke. They choke like dogs.”
“And then you say, ‘What did I do? I picked the wrong person,’ ” Trump added.
The President lamented media reports on Democratic control of the House following the elections.
“I keep listening to the fake news, that they won the House, House, House, House. Nobody ever talks about the Senate,” Trump said, adding, “We won the Senate easily.”
“We picked up two. That hasn’t been done in a long time,” Trump said of the seats Republicans added in November. “We have the Senate now 53 to 47 and we’re very proud of that, but you never hear that.”
The President also reiterated his support for using the death penalty against “cop killers” in the United States and fentanyl traffickers in China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping “agreed to make (fentanyl) a controlled substance – and the highest criminality. And that would bring into play, again, the words ‘death penalty.’ From no penalty to death penalty,” Trump said. “If they get caught they’re going to get the death penalty. I have a feeling you’re going to see it go down very rapidly.”
The President touted his recent selection of William Barr as the next attorney general, which he had announced hours earlier at the White House.
“Bill previously led the Justice Department with distinction as attorney general under George H.W. Bush following his unanimous confirmation by the United States Senate,” Trump said, later highlighting Barr’s “unwavering adherence to the rule of law, which the people in this room like to hear.”
“He deserves overwhelming bipartisan support,” the President said.
CNN’s Sarah Westwood, Betsy Klein and Donald Judd contributed to this report.