A furious Donald Trump slammed Paul Ryan on Twitter Thursday night after the former House speaker was quoted in an upcoming book attacking the president’s ignorance about government and deploring his behavior.
Trump ripped the Wisconsin Republican in a trio of tweets, calling his “record of achievement ... atrocious.” Ryan quit Congress because he “didn’t know how to Win” and he “blew away [Republicans’ control of the House] with his poor leadership and bad timing,” Trump wrote. Ryan also failed to get him his border wall, Trump complained, adding: “Happening anyway!”
On Saturday, Trump once again lashed out on Twitter, calling Ryan a ”[w]eak, ineffectual & stupid” politician who “almost killed the Republican Party.”
Politico correspondent Tim Alberta reports in his upcoming book, “American Carnage,” that Ryan didn’t seek reelection last year because he couldn’t bear continuing to work with Trump, according to The Washington Post, which obtained a copy of the book ahead of its Tuesday publication.
Alberta wrote that Ryan saw retirement as an “escape hatch,” that Ryan told Alberta that Trump “didn’t know anything about government” and that Ryan said he didn’t like Trump’s behavior, according to the Post’s report on Thursday.
“I told myself I gotta have a relationship with this guy to help him get his mind right,” Ryan recalled in the book, the Post reported. “Because, I’m telling you, he didn’t know anything about government . . . I wanted to scold him all the time.”
According to the Post, Ryan also told Alberta that “we’ve gotten so numbed by it all,” apparently responding to Trump’s behavior, adding: “Don’t call a woman a ‘horse face.’ Don’t cheat on your wife. Don’t cheat on anything. Be a good person. Set a good example.”
He also told Alberta he believed Trump’s actions were getting more problematic, the Post said.
“Those of us around him really helped to stop him from making bad decisions. All the time,” Ryan reportedly said. “We helped him make much better decisions, which were contrary to kind of what his knee-jerk reaction was. Now I think he’s making some of these knee-jerk reactions.”
A spokesperson for Ryan has pushed back against the idea that the former speaker retired because of Trump, telling The Hill that Ryan has “been very clear that he retired because he wanted to spend more time being a father and a husband.”
Despite Ryan’s reported quotes deriding Trump, many critics on Twitter said it was too little, too late to excuse his own behavior.
This story has been updated with responses from Trump to Ryan’s reported comments and from Ryan’s spokesperson.