Boehner: With Trump takeover, GOP is 'taking a nap'

The former House speaker also said he believes Trump promised first lady Melania Trump that he would not win the White House.
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John Boehner on the "Today" show on April 13, 2018.Nathan Congleton / NBCU Photo Bank

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By Dartunorro Clark

It's not quite "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," but former GOP House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday said President Donald Trump has taken over the Republican Party.

"There is no Republican Party. There's a Trump party. The Republican Party is kind of taking a nap somewhere," he said at the Mackinac Policy Conference in Michigan.

Boehner, of Ohio, also described his relationship with Trump, saying that Trump would call him when he was speaker but that neither thought Trump would win the 2016 election.

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"Donald Trump, who I know well, was one of my supporters, when I was speaker," Boehner recalled. "I was having a rough week, Trump would call me, pat me on the back, cheer me up, played a lot of golf together. But president? Really? I never quite saw this."

Boehner also said he believes Trump had told his wife, Melania, that he would not win the election.

"I think Donald Trump promised Melania that he would not win. She didn’t have to worry about ever living in the White House. It’s probably why she doesn't look real happy every day. But, well, maybe one reason," he said.

Boehner recently joined an advisory board for a cannabis company, Acreage Holdings, after he said his "thinking on cannabis has evolved."

He abruptly resigned from office in 2015 after facing pressure from a caucus of hard-right GOP House members who threatened a government shutdown over a bill that would have provided funding for Planned Parenthood.

Since leaving office, Boehner has not shied away from criticizing his former GOP colleagues, calling Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas “Lucifer in the flesh”; Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio a "legislative terrorist"; and former Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah a "total phony."

He also railed against the efforts by Republicans to defund Obamacare, even if it meant shutting down the government.

Despite being "texting buddies" with Trump, he told a crowd at an energy conference in Houston last year that the president’s first several months in office were mostly a “disaster.”

He also said he does not regret retiring.

“I wake up every day, drink my morning coffee and say, 'hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah,'” he said.