Long gone are the cordial days of Donald Trump and Paul Ryan playing buddy-buddy in the nation’s capital.
The duo, who worked side by side in the early days of the Trump administration to pass a fat tax cut for the wealthy and fail to abolish Obamacare, are now feuding over excerpts from the latest Washington D.C. tell-all book, “American Carnage.”
Written by Politico Magazine reporter Tim Alberta and summarized using advanced copies obtained by the Washington Post, the book recounts the early days of the Trump administration and the Republican Party’s struggle to embrace their new leader following the president’s turbulent but ultimately successful 2016 campaign.
In the book, former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan looks back on his time working with the current president of the United States, not with nostalgia or reverence but rather regret and plenty of scorn.
“I told myself I gotta have a relationship with this guy to help him get his mind right,” Ryan recounts in the book. “Because, I’m telling you, he didn’t know anything about government. [...] I wanted to scold him all the time.”
In another excerpt, Ryan recalls he and fellow Republicans having to babysit Trump in order to keep his lack of experience from doing long-term damage to the party.
“Those of us around him really helped to stop him from making bad decisions. All the time,” Ryan says. “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.”
The book also reports that Ryan felt uneasy about Trump’s track record with women.
“Where we live our lives, we have a responsibility to try and rebuild,” Ryan says. “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.”
As expected, Trump has not taken kindly to critique from the now-retired Ryan.
Friday morning, Trump unleashed one of his signature tirades on the former Wisconsin lawmaker, criticizing everything from Ryan's popularity in his home state to his failure to defeat President Obama alongside running mate Mitt Romney in 2012.
Trump also roasted Ryan over his leadership in the House.
Trump didn’t always have this negativity. When Ryan announced that he wouldn’t be running for re-election in April 2018, the president sent him nothing but good vibes.
“American Carnage,” which is set to his bookshelves July 16, features a number of excerpts depicting a Republican party in panic mode during the rise of Trump. Many of the sources cited in the book, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Trump’s now acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), are working in Washington alongside the president.
Paul Ryan has not yet responded to any of the president’s comments.
Cover: Accompanied by Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (L), U.S. President Donald Trump (R) arrives at a meeting with House Republicans at the U.S. Capitol June 19, 2018 in Washington, DC. Trump was on the Hill to discuss immigration with House Republicans. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)