US President Donald Trump has commended “tremendous success” in the mid-term elections after a night of mixed results for his Republican party.

The Democrats won the House of Representatives, which will enable them to thwart the president’s agenda.

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But the Republicans consolidated their grip on the Senate, ensuring he can still make key appointments.

Trump said the outcome “defied history” as the ruling party does not usually gain seats in the mid-terms.

During a bubbly news conference on Wednesday, Trump offered an olive branch to Democrats, proposing both parties work together on joint legislative priorities.

But he said that if Democratic-controlled congressional committees started serving legal writs against his administration, Republicans would do likewise and gridlock would ensue.

In ill-tempered exchanges, Trump called a CNN correspondent “a rude, terrible person” and told an NBC reporter: “I’m not a big fan of yours either.”

He told a black reporter who asked whether his self-professed nationalism would embolden white nationalists that it was “such a racist question”.

The president also mocked Republicans who did not “embrace” him on the campaign trail, and went on to lose their election races.

“They did very poorly,” Trump told reporters. “I’m not sure that I should be happy or sad but I feel just fine about it.”

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi has promised her party will serve as a counterweight to the White House.

Ms Pelosi – who is favourite to become speaker, a position she held from 2007-11 – told supporters: “Today is more than about Democrats and Republicans. It’s about restoring the Constitution’s checks and balances to the Trump administration.”

Meanwhile, the Florida Senate race is heading for a recount after Republican Rick Scott got 50.21% and incumbent Bill Nelson 49.79% of the vote. A margin of less than half a percentage point automatically triggers a recount.