the national interest

Trump: Paul Ryan Was Bribed to Call Me Stupid

President Trump and Paul Ryan, in happier times. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Tim Alberta’s new book, American Carnage, quotes Paul Ryan making several unflattering comments about President Trump. Ryan reveals that Trump complained about the 2018 spending bill but privately promised to sign it if Ryan would allow him to build suspense over Twitter first. “I told myself I gotta have a relationship with this guy to help him get his mind right,” Ryan tells Alberta. “Because, I’m telling you, he didn’t know anything about government.”

You might be wondering if Trump is taking the insults well. The answer is no, Trump is not taking it well.

In a lengthy rant to reporters at the White House today that was unhinged even by Trumpian standards, the president made several attacks on the former Speaker of the House. Employing his favorite method of turning the insult around on the insulter, Trump claimed it was Ryan who had no knowledge of the government: “Frankly, he was a baby, he didn’t know what he was doing.”

More strangely, Trump’s indictment of Ryan’s tenure includes lambasting him for failing to get subpoenas: “He was no leader … he wouldn’t get subpoenas … when Nancy Pelosi hands them out like they’re cookies.” It’s true that Ryan did not use his subpoena power as Speaker. That’s because he was cooperating with Trump by refusing to allow any oversight of the administration. Ryan refused to send out subpoenas because Trump didn’t want him to. Trump is attacking Ryan for helping to cover up Trump’s misconduct.

And most strangely of all, Trump insinuated Ryan is only criticizing him because he is accepting secret bribes. “For him to be going out and opening his mouth is pretty incredible. But maybe he gets paid.”

Right, why else would Ryan say Trump knows nothing about government, other than getting bribed to do it by a Politico reporter?

Trump: Paul Ryan Was Bribed to Call Me Stupid