Donald Trump has taken a swipe at ‘lame duck’ Paul Ryan by unleashing a stinging attack on his stint as speaker and failed vice presidential bid.
In a flurry of tweets, the President also took aim at his fellow Republican’s ‘atrocious’ record of poor leadership in the House which he claims hamstrung the White House’s ability to secure funding for the proposed southern border wall.
Last night’s volley of criticism came after excerpts of a forthcoming book were published in which the ex-congressman described his frustration in dealing with the Trump administration.
But the President hit back by claiming that Ryan ‘didn’t know how to win’ – blaming him for both Mitt Romney’s unsuccessful 2012 General Election campaign and for losing the GOP House majority in the 2018 mid-terms.
Trump tweeted: ‘Paul Ryan, the failed V.P. candidate & former Speaker of the House, whose record of achievement was atrocious (except during my first two years as President), ultimately became a long running lame duck failure, leaving his Party in the lurch both as a fundraiser & leader.
‘He had the Majority & blew it away with his poor leadership and bad timing. Never knew how to go after the Dems like they go after us. Couldn’t get him out of Congress fast enough!
‘When Mitt chose Paul I told people that’s the end of that Presidential run. He quit Congress because he didn’t know how to Win.
‘They gave me standing O’s (ovations) in the Great State of Wisconsin, & booed him off the stage. He promised me the Wall & failed (happening anyway!).’
Trump’s scathing slap-down is seen as a push-back to the Washington Post’s printing of sections of Tim Alberta’s new book, American Carnage.
Ryan told Alberta that he viewed his retirement from Congress as an ‘escape hatch’ after becoming exasperated with the ‘knee-jerk reactions’ coming out of the Oval Office.
It has been widely reported that during Ryan’s speakership, he had a frosty relationship with Trump.
Tensions began to boil over when Ryan refused to appear on stage with then candidate Trump after an Access Hollywood leaked tape appeared to show Trump bragging about sexual assault.
But, on announcing his retirement from Washington politics last year, Trump tweeted a tribute to the outgoing congressman.
He said: ‘Speaker Paul Ryan is a truly good man, and while he will not be seeking re-election, he will leave a legacy of achievement that nobody can question.’
Ryan is the latest ex-Trump ally to be publicly berated by the President after leaving office – former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was branded ‘sloppy Steve Bannon, who cried when he got fired and begged for his job,’ after his departure.