White House

Trump Slams ‘Lame Duck Failure’ Paul Ryan In Response to Criticism In Upcoming Book

President Donald Trump walks with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) as they arrive to address a closed House Republican Conference meeting on Capitol Hill, June 19, 2018. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

President Trump lashed out Paul Ryan Thursday in a series of late-night tweets, labeling the former Speaker a “lame duck failure” in response to criticisms included in an upcoming book.

Ryan told Politico’s Tim Alberta that Trump was completely unprepared to take office and often had to be convinced not to follow his instincts by more experienced politicians.

“Because, I’m telling you, he didn’t know anything about government . . . I wanted to scold him all the time,” Ryan said, according to an excerpt of the book, “American Carnage.” “Those of us around him really helped to stop him from making bad decisions. All the time. 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.”

Trump responded by mocking Ryan’s record as Speaker and casting him as a pushover who was unwilling to aggressively engage in political battles when Republicans enjoyed a majority in the House.

The comments represent a sharp departure from the effusive praise that Trump heaped on Ryan when he announced he would not seek reelection in 2018.

Ryan acknowledged in his interview with Alberta that his retirement was related to the volatile current political moment and Trump’s brash style.

“We’ve gotten so numbed by it all,” Ryan said. “Not in government, but where we live our lives, we have a responsibility to try and rebuild. 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.”

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