John Boehner, the former Republican Speaker of the House, publishes a scathing denunciation in his new book by Donald J. Trump, claiming that the former president “instigated this bloody insurgency” through his supporters on Capitol Hill on January 6 and that the Republican Party has been taken over by “underground jobs”.
Mr. Boehner’s criticism in his book, “On the House: A Washington Memoir,” represents an extraordinary public rebuke from a former Speaker of the House to a former speaker of his own party and shows how much the Republican Party has changed since Mr. Boehner left Congress in 2015. And his remarks came as Mr. Trump sought to retain his grip on the loyalty of Republican lawmakers at his new political base in South Florida.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sharply criticized Mr Trump at the end of the Senate trial for the former president’s second impeachment, pointing to his role in the Capitol riot. Others, like Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No.3 in the Republican House leadership, have also excoriated him.
But Mr Boehner’s remarks went one step further, serving as a rejection of what the party he once helped lead has transformed in recent years. While he has criticized Mr. Trump in the past, it is his comments on the events of January 6 that resonate the most.
In the book, an excerpt from the New York Times, Mr. Boehner writes that “Mr. Trump’s refusal to accept the election result not only cost Republicans the Senate, but led to the violence of the crowd, ”adding:“ It was painful to watch.
At another point he writes: “I admit I was not prepared for what happened after the election – Trump refusing to accept the results and stoking the flames of the conspiracy that turned into violence in the country. seat of our democracy, the building above that I once presided over.
He adds: “It was scary and sad to watch him. It should have been a wake-up call for a return to Republican sanity. With a nod to the divisions among parties in Congress, he writes: ‘Whatever they end up doing or not doing, none of this will compare to one of the lowest points in democracy. American experience that we experienced in January 2021. “
Mr. Trump, he continues, “instigated this bloody insurgency for nothing more than selfish reasons, perpetuated by the bullshit he shoveled since losing an election just last November.” Mr Boehner writes: “He claimed election fraud without any evidence, and repeated these claims, taking advantage of the trust placed in him by his supporters and ultimately betraying that trust.”
In an emailed statement, Jason Miller, a spokesman for Mr. Trump, called Mr. Boehner a “creature of the swamp” and accused him of favoring “Communist China” (the lobbying firm of the (former speaker represents the Chinese Embassy in the United States). In another email to The Times, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Boehner, whose love of merlot is legendary in Washington, “Was he drinking when he made that statement?” Just another RINO that couldn’t do the job!
The former president continued to make wacky and false claims about widespread voter fraud in the election, despite multiple court rulings against him and President Biden’s certification of victory.
Among members of the House and Senate who have supported Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results, Mr. Boehner writes: “Some of the people involved did not surprise me at all. The legislative terrorism that I had witnessed as a speaker had now encouraged real terrorism.
Mr Boehner, whose term as the Republican House leadership coincided with the obstruction of Congress in the Obama years and who was engulfed by the rise of the Tea Party and House members rewarded with appearances in the Conservative media writes that the GOP must “regain control of the faction that had grown to include everyone from gardening jobs to insurgents.”
For now, Mr. Trump has retained the support of Republican voters. A slim majority would like to see him again as the party’s candidate if he runs in 2024, which he told councilors he was seriously considering. And some House GOP officials are deeply concerned about keeping it on their side in their efforts to regain control in next year’s midterm elections.