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Donald Trump in fiery exchange with reporter after midterm elections deliver deadlock

Pointed exchange: Donald Trump criticises CNN’s Jim Acosta PICTURE: AP

DONALD TRUMP became embroiled in an angry spat with a reporter at a tetchy press conference after mixed fortunes in the US midterm elections.

He branded CNN journalist Jim Acosta an ‘enemy of the people’ when he was quizzed over comments he had made about a caravan of Central American migrants.

As a White House aide tried to take away the microphone from Mr Acosta, the president told him: ‘You are a rude, terrible person.’

When NBC’s Peter Alexander tried to defend Mr Acosta, Mr Trump muttered: ‘I’m not a big fan of you either.’

Breaking (up) news: The White House aide tries to take the microphone from Mr Acosta as the president watches PICTURE: EPA

African American PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor asked if comments Mr Trump made during the campaign had emboldened white nationalists. She was told: ‘That’s such a racist question.’

The Democrats secured the 23 gains needed to take the House of Representatives. It means they can now block legislation and order Mr Trump to release his tax returns.

They could also order the intelligence committee to reopen inquiries into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. However, the Republicans strengthened their hold on the Senate, which would decide on the outcome of any impeachment proceedings.

Mr Trump was defiant — even claiming the results ‘felt very close to a complete victory’. He warned, if the Democrats tried to investigate him, ‘we’re going to do the same thing’. He also listed Republicans he felt lost because they didn’t ‘embrace’ him.

Nancy Pelosi, who could be the Democrats’ leader in the House, said the results were ‘more than about Democrats and Republicans, it’s about restoring the constitution’s checks and balances to the Trump administration’.

The Democrats hailed a record number of elected women and the first Muslims in Congress — Rhasida Tlaib in Michigan, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, and Ilhan Omar, a former Somali refugee.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29, became the youngest woman ever in Congress, after winning in New York. Jared Polis is the first openly-gay US governor after winning in Colorado. Some Democrats who had enjoyed celebrity backing fell short. Taylor Swift’s choice of Phil Bredesen for the Senate lost to Marsha Blackburn in Tennessee, while Senator Ted Cruz held off Beyoncé’s pick, Beto O’Rourke, in Texas.

The strangest win went to Republican brothel owner Dennis Hof in Nevada. He died three weeks ago.

■ JEFF SESSIONS last night resigned as the US attorney general. Mr Sessions, who was criticised by Donald Trump after removing himself from the probe into alleged Russian collusion during the 2016 election, said he quit at the president’s request. It came hours after Mr Trump refused to back Mr Sessions, saying: ‘I am very happy with most of my cabinet.’ Mr Session’s chief-of-staff Matthew Whitaker is his temporary replacement.