In a new book, American Carnage by author Tim Alberta, set to release on Tuesday, the former speaker apparently slammed the president for not knowing “anything about government,” according to The Washington Post, who received excerpts of the book.
Ryan, retiring from Congress ahead of the 2018 midterm election, claimed Trump had to be stopped “from making bad decisions.”
“We helped him make much better decisions, which were contrary to kind of what his knee-jerk reaction was,” he said. “Now I think he’s making some of these knee-jerk reactions.”
The president didn’t miss a beat when he fired back on Twitter on Friday, knocking Ryan as having an “atrocious” record and who “ultimately became a long running lame duck failure.”
“Couldn’t get him out of Congress fast enough!” Trump said.
Trump doubled down on his criticism of Ryan, telling reporters outside of the White House on Friday.
“Paul Ryan was a terrible Speaker frankly. He was a baby,” he said. “He didn’t know what the hell he was doing.”
Ryan’s criticism of Trump has House Republican lawmakers responding.
A Republican lawmaker who worked with Ryan while he was in the House told The Hill the former speaker’s remarks are “a little bit of revisionist history.”
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said Ryan’s “advice typically served to push the president in a direction that would make the swamp happy but most of the people who voted for Donald Trump unhappy,” according to The Hill.
He added, “The Speaker missed the real reason why the president consistently enjoyed higher approval ratings than anyone in Republican leadership.”
Additionally, Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.) — who recently announced he was leaving the Republican Party on July 4 and has been a lone wolf in calling for the president’s impeachment — called the former speaker one of Trump’s “biggest enablers.”
In response to Ryan’s comments in the upcoming book, his spokesperson said, “He’s been very clear that he retired because he wanted to spend more time being a father and a husband.”