On Politics: The Biggest Stories of the Week

From a monumental Election Day to a shake-up in the Trump administration, it’s been a busy week in American politics. Here are some of the biggest stories you might have missed (and some links if you’d like to read further).


Democrats took the House, and Republicans got a stronger hold on the Senate:

The midterm elections ended Tuesday night with Democrats flipping more than two dozen Republican congressional districts to gain control of the House of Representatives. It gives them the power to investigate the president.

Despite warnings from within the G.O.P., Republicans’ disunity and lack of a coherent message contributed to their losing the House. Here’s how it happened.

Even with the loss of the House, Republican victories in the Senate, and in governors’ races, could have big implications for the courts and social issues like abortion. Read how that may play out in future policy.

They marched, they ran, and on Election Day, they won. Read about the women who led a parade of victories Tuesday to win control of the House for the Democrats.

More than 150 L.G.B.T. candidates, a record, were elected in the United States, and Massachusetts voted to uphold a state law protecting transgender people from discrimination. Read more on the results of the “rainbow wave.”

It could be months before we know the demographic breakdown of who voted in the midterms, but there are early indications that turnout boomed among women, Latinos and young people.

President Trump’s reaction to the results was true to form:

At a news conference the day after the elections, Mr. Trump offered to work with the Democrats who gained control of the House, but threatened to retaliate if they use their new power to investigate him.

As several politicians from both parties seek leadership roles in the new House, Nancy Pelosi got an early, if unusual, endorsement from Mr. Trump in her bid to reclaim her title as speaker. Read more on the president’s surprising support.

After a tense standoff at Mr. Trump’s news conference on Wednesday, the White House suspended credentials for CNN’s Jim Acosta. The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, used a doctored video from the conspiracy site Infowars to justify the ban.

President Trump forced out Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday, ending a partnership that soured after Mr. Sessions recused himself from the Russia inquiry. Mr. Trump tapped Matthew Whitaker, Mr. Sessions’s chief of staff, as acting attorney general.

Mr. Whitaker has openly criticized the Russia investigation led by Robert S. Mueller III. Now he oversees it. Here’s what may happen to the special counsel’s inquiry.

Mr. Whitaker served on the advisory board of a Florida company that was shut down and fined nearly $26 million after the government accused it of scamming customers. Read about his involvement.

Mr. Trump said on Friday that he has not yet spoken to Mr. Whitaker about the special counsel investigation, and he distanced himself from the acting attorney general by suggesting that he did not know him. Read more of what he told reporters.

Additional Reading

Acting Attorney General Matthew G. Whitaker Once Criticized Supreme Court’s Power

Jeff Sessions Executed the Agenda of a President Who Could Not Look Past a Betrayal

Sessions, in Last-Minute Act, Sharply Limits Use of Consent Decrees to Curb Police Abuses

Twelve people, including a sheriff’s deputy, were killed in a shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif. The gunman, a former marine named Ian D. Long who had served in Afghanistan, is also dead. There was no clear motive. Read how the new, Democrat-led House might take action on guns.

In a proclamation on Friday, Mr. Trump called illegal immigration “a crisis” and suspended asylum rights to all immigrants who attempt to cross into the United States illegally. But officials said it was aimed primarily at several thousand migrants traveling north through Mexico in caravans.