Donald Trump thrust a new insult at former House Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday, claiming that the ex-lawmaker might be getting paid to attack him.
He claimed on the White House lawn as he left for Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin that the ex-legislator was a ‘no talent’ hack and a ‘lame duck’ speaker who shouldn’t have lost control of the lower chamber in the last election.
The president also called him a ‘baby’ and ranted about his failure to secure money for a border wall, exclaiming: ‘He didn’t know what the hell he was doing.’
‘So Paul Ryan was not a talent. He wasn’t a leader. When the people in Freedom and great congressmen wanted to go after the Dems for things that they did very badly, he wouldn’t give subpoenas, whereas Nancy Pelosi hands them out like they’re cookies,’ Trump claimed.
Continuing to lace into him, he said, ‘Paul Ryan was a lame duck for a long time as Speaker. He was unable to raise money. He lost control of the House. The only success Paul Ryan had was the time that he was with me because we got taxes cut. ‘
Trump said even that victory was one he engineered and Ryan, who had been in Washington and in Congress long before him, was just along for the ride.
‘I got regulation cuts. I did that mostly without him,’ he claimed. ‘But for Paul Ryan to be complaining is pretty amazing. I remember a day in Wisconsin — a state that I won — where I stood up and made a speech, and then I introduced him and they booed him off the stage — 10,000 people. So for him to be going out and opening his mouth is pretty incredible.’
He added, ‘But maybe he gets paid for that. Who knows? Maybe he gets paid for that.’
Trump had unleashed a stinging attack on the former speaker and failed vice presidential nominee on Thursday evening, opening up the door to new questioning on the subject Friday by journalists at his White House departure.
In a flurry of tweets, he attacked the 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.
The 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.
Trump 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.