Trump rips Paul Ryan as 'lame duck failure' with 'poor leadership'

“He quit Congress because he didn’t know how to Win," Trump wrote of the former House speaker in a late-night tweetstorm.
Image: Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., listens to President Donald Trump speak during a meeting with Republican lawmakers in the Roosevelt Room of the White House,
Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., listens to President Donald Trump speak during a meeting with Republican lawmakers in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018.Evan Vucci / AP file

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By Adam Edelman

President Donald Trump lambasted Paul Ryan on Thursday night, ripping the ex-House speaker as a “running lame duck failure” with “poor leadership.”

“Paul Ryan, the failed V.P. candidate & former Speaker of the House, whose record of achievement was atrocious (except during my first two years as President), ultimately became a long running lame duck failure, leaving his Party in the lurch both as a fundraiser & leader,” Trump wrote in a late-night tweetstorm.

“He quit Congress because he didn’t know how to Win. They gave me standing O’s in the Great State of Wisconsin, & booed him off the stage," Trump wrote. "He had the Majority & blew it away with his poor leadership and bad timing. Never knew how to go after the Dems like they go after us. Couldn’t get him out of Congress fast enough!”

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Trump’s lashing out at Ryan appear to be in response to criticism from the former House speaker that appeared in detailed book excerpts — from Tim Alberta’s “American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump — published this week by Politico and The Washington Post.

On Friday morning, Trump resumed his bashing of the Wisconsin Republican during an appearance on the White House South Lawn, telling reporters that Ryan "was not a talent," "wasn't a leader," and was a "lame duck for a long time as Speaker."

"The only success Paul Ryan had was the time he was with me," Trump said, pointing to the GOP's tax cut bill. "For Paul Ryan to be complaining is pretty amazing."

On Thursday, the Post published an excerpt in which Ryan criticized Trump and said that the nation had grown “numb” to the president.

“Those of us around him really helped to stop him from making bad decisions. All the time,” Ryan says in the book, according to the Post. “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.”

“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.”

Earlier in the week, Politico published an excerpt that laid out in great detail the October 2016 saga that ensued after news emerged, just weeks before the election, that Trump, in a 2005 recording of the show “Access Hollywood,” had bragged about grabbing women.

Trump had been scheduled to appear at a Wisconsin event with Ryan, but after news of the tape broke, Ryan disinvited him, Alberta writes in his book, according to Politico. Ryan then held the event by himself, said he found the tape “troubling” and was booed by the crowd.

“It was hard to hear over the boos. Chanting the nominee’s name, Trump’s supporters in the audience heckled Ryan throughout his speech,” Alberta wrote, according to Politico. “Shame on you!” they shouted.”