U.S.

Trump’s Excuse on Conor Lamb: 'Only a Congressman for Five Months'

President Donald Trump downplayed Democrat Conor Lamb's stunning upset in Pennsylvania's special House election Tuesday, by pointing out that redistricting will eliminate his seat.

“It’s actually interesting, because it’s [sic] only a congressman for five months,” said Trump at a private fundraiser Wednesday night, according to audio acquired by The Atlantic. “I don’t know about that one, Josh. It was a lot of work for five months.”

The district Lamb won, Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District, will cease to exist in its current form due to redistricting mandated by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, who ruled the current map too gerrymandered.

With redistricting, Lamb’s home will be redrawn into the new 17th district, where he could face incumbent Republican Representative Keith Rothfus. The 17th, a Republican-leaning district now, becomes more competitive with the new map, drawing in more Democratic voters.

The race gained national attention in an especially contentious political year, with politicians on both sides of the aisle watching it as a possible preview of the 2018 midterm elections.

Trump visited the district, which he won by 20 points in the in 2016 presidential election, over the weekend to stump for Lamb’s Republican opponent, Rick Saccone. Lamb’s razor-thin victory was by only a few hundred votes.

GettyImages-912436198 U.S. President Donald J. Trump smiles during the State of the Union address. Win McNamee/GETTY

Trump and the White House attempted to take credit both for Lamb’s victory and Saccone’s close loss.

“The young man last night that ran, he said, ‘Oh, I’m like Trump,’” the President said at the fundraiser about Lamb.

White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah, meanwhile, said that Trump kept Saccone’s victory from being worse on Wednesday.

“The president’s engagement in the race turned what was a deficit for the Republican candidate to what is essentially a tie,” said Shah.

Pre-election polling had the race close to tied, with Lamb getting a slight edge.

Other outside Republicans stumped in the district for Saccone, including Vice President Mike Pence and White House adviser Ivanka Trump, and the GOP pumped millions of dollars into the race.

Despite the tight race, Pennsylvania law does not automatically trigger a recount. Saccone has five days to request one, according to the Huffington Post.

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