Trump unloads on Paul Ryan after 'American Carnage' excerpts


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump laid into former Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan as a "baby" and a "terrible speaker" today after the former congressman was quoted in a new book as saying the president didn't know anything about governing and that he retired to get away from him.

Trump unleashed his criticism on one of Wisconsin's favorite sons just before leaving to go to the state he wants to win in 2020. He called the retired congressman's record "atrocious" in the wake of unflattering comments Ryan made about Trump in a new book

"Paul Ryan let us down. Paul Ryan was a terrible speaker," Trump told reporters on the South Lawn. "Frankly, he was a baby. He didn't know what the hell he was doing."

Ryan condemns Trump in "American Carnage," by Tim Alberta of Politico. Alberta wrote the former speaker, who retired from Congress in 2018 , could not stand the idea of another two years with the Republican president and saw retirement as the "escape hatch." Ryan is quoted saying: "I'm telling you, he didn't know anything about government. I wanted to scold him all the time."

Pushing back, Trump told reporters that one day when he was making a speech in Wisconsin, he invited Ryan, who was booed.

"So for him to be going out and opening his mouth is pretty incredible," Trump said. "Maybe he gets paid for that. Who knows?"

On Thursday evening, Trump unleashed tweets labeling Ryan as a "lame duck failure."

"He had the Majority & blew it away with his poor leadership and bad timing," Trump tweeted. "Never knew how to go after the Dems like they go after us. Couldn't get him out of Congress fast enough!"

Ryan had no comment on the president's tweets about him, his spokesman Brendan Buck said.

Trump may have been angered by various revelations in the book, including accounts recalling widespread negative GOP reactions to his off-color videotaped comments in the "Access Hollywood" scandal in the closing weeks of the 2016 election campaign. Ryan's reaction was particularly harsh.

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