Former House speaker John A. Boehner continued a streak of remarkable post-office candor during a Wednesday appearance at a Houston energy conference, telling a luncheon audience that President Trump’s term has — foreign policy aside — been a “complete disaster.”
“Everything else he’s done has been a complete disaster,” Boehner (R-Ohio) said, according to a report in Rigzone, an online energy publication. “He’s still learning how to be president.”
Boehner, who resigned from Congress in October 2015, had praised Trump — a friend and golfing companion from his political years — during the presidential campaign. On Wednesday, he praised Trump’s efforts at getting serious about combating the Islamic State terror group, Rigzone reported, but ended his positive comments there.
Among other remarks, Boehner said Trump should not be allowed to tweet, the publication said.
Dave Schnittger, an aide to Boehner, said Friday the remarks made at the KPMG Global Energy Conference were “reported accurately” by Rigzone.
Dan Scavino Jr., the White House social media director, responded Friday evening on Twitter:
John Boehner, is the disaster. pic.twitter.com/N25zG3ompE
— Dan Scavino Jr. (@DanScavino) May 26, 2017
Boehner has made other public comments critical of his party since leaving office. During the presidential campaign in April 2016, he called then-GOP candidate Ted Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh.” And in February, he made a prescient prediction that a GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act was “not going to happen” and that “Republicans never, ever agree on health care” — a view he maintained on Wednesday, according to the Rigzone report.
Boehner offered other blunt opinions Wednesday, Rigzone reported. He gave an increasingly pessimistic view that congressional Republicans would pass tax reform, saying “now my odds are 60/40” and that tax reform is “a bunch of happy talk.” And he echoed an emerging piece of D.C. conventional wisdom by calling the border adjustment tax plan favored by Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), Boehner’s successor as House speaker, “deader than a doornail.”
And on the various pending investigations into alleged Russian influence on the election and on Trump’s campaign, Boehner said, “they need to get to the bottom of this” but called impeachment a folly pushed by “crazy left-wing Democratic colleagues of mine.”
“Talk of impeachment is the best way to rile up Trump supporters,” he said, according to Rigzone. “Remember, impeachment is not a legal process; it’s a political process.”
Boehner, as he has said in the past, repeated Wednesday that he does not miss his old job: “I wake up every day, drink my morning coffee and say, ‘Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah,’” he said, according to Rigzone.