By Joshua Caplan
An upcoming book reveals former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has returned to attacking President Donald Trump’s character, taking particular offense to his dismissive nickname for pornographic actress Stormy Daniels.
Politico Magazine’s Tim Alberta writes in American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump that Ryan “Now out of office and trading in his power suits for a blue vest” is once again criticizing the president and “saw retirement as the ‘escape hatch,’” according to an excerpt obtained by the Washington Post.
“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.”
President Trump ridiculed Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, in October 2018 after a federal judge dismissed her defamation lawsuit against him, tweeting: “Great, now I can go after Horseface and her 3rd rate lawyer in the Great State of Texas.” In January 2018, a Wall Street Journal report alleged that Daniels, prior to the 2016 presidential election, was paid $130,000 to sign a nondisclosure agreement regarding an affair with the president in 2006.
The book details how Ryan was frustrated with the president’s approach to governing.
“I told myself I gotta have a relationship with this guy to help him get his mind right,” the former speaker recounted. “Because, I’m telling you, he didn’t know anything about government… I wanted to scold him all the time.”
“Those of us around him really helped to stop him from making bad decisions. All the time,” he continued. “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.”
President Trump, according to the book, is largely dismissive of Ryan’s attacks, often referring to him as a “fucking Boy Scout.”
Ryan retired from the House in January after serving three years as the chamber’s speaker. Under his watch, Republicans lost a House majority in the 2018 midterm election. Since leaving Congress, he joined Fox Corp. as a member of its board of directors.
It’s no secret that President Trump and Ryan shared an uneasy relationship. In an interview with the Daily Caller, the president blamed the Wisconsin Republican for failing secure funding from Congress to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Well, I was going to veto the omnibus bill and Paul told me in the strongest of language, ‘Please don’t do that, we’ll get you the wall.’ And I said, ‘I hope you mean that, because I don’t like this bill,’” the president told the outlet.
“Paul told me in the strongest of terms that, ‘Please sign this and if you sign this we will get you that wall.’ Which is desperately needed by our country. Humanitarian crisis, trafficking, drugs, you know, everything — people, criminals, gangs, so, you know, we need the wall,” he added. “And then he went lame duck.”
In October 2016, Breitbart News published audio in which Ryan pledged not to defend then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump following the release of the Access Hollywood tape. “His comments are not anywhere in keeping with our party’s principles and values,” Ryan is heard telling Republican lawmakers during a conference call. “There are basically two things that I want to make really clear, as for myself as your Speaker. I am not going to defend Donald Trump—not now, not in the future. As you probably heard, I disinvited him from my first congressional district GOP event this weekend—a thing I do every year.”
Of course, President Trump went on to defeat his Democrat rival Hillary Clinton despite Ryan’s desertion.