(NEW YORK) — Former House Speaker John Boehner on Monday kept up his harsh criticism of former President Donald Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 riots, saying he “abused” the trust voters placed in him.
Boehner, who resigned his post in 2015 citing turmoil in the Republican Party, has repeatedly criticized Trump and fellow Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in recent appearances promoting a new book, including Monday on ABC’s The View.
“I watched before the election, hearing the president talk about the election going to be stolen from him, then when we get into the post-election months and he kept talking about how the election was being stolen. I kept looking for facts,” Boehner said. “Unfortunately I never saw any facts, I don’t think the American people ever saw any facts. The saddest part is the president abused the loyalty and the trust that voters placed in him by perpetuating this noise. It was really one of the sadder things I’ve seen in the last 40 years in politics.”
Boehner has not been silent about his dismay over the events on Jan. 6, as stated in a tweet the day after the riots.
“The invasion of our Capitol by a mob, incited by lies from some entrusted with power, is a disgrace to all who sacrificed to build our Republic,” Boehner said at the time.
A spokesman for Trump, Jason Miller, responded to attacks from Boehner in the New York Times saying, “Was he drinking when he made this statement? Just another RINO who couldn’t do the job!”
Speaking on The View about his new book, On the House: A Washington Memoir, which chronicles his four years as House speaker and shows him with his trademark glass of merlot wine on the cover, Boehner was asked about far-right factions growing in the Republican Party, with The View host Sunny Hostin citing Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and Lauren Boebert, R-Colo.
“I should say that 90% of the members of Congress on both sides of the aisle are really good decent people trying to do the right thing for the American people every day. There’s a fringe in both parties that make it difficult for the leaders, frankly, to lead,” Boehner said. “These days both parties are being held hostage by the loudest voices in their parties.”
Boehner also took swipes at Sen. Cruz, R-Texas, calling him “Lucifer in the flesh,” and criticizing what he called Cruz’s meddling with GOP House members during his time as speaker.
“He’s coming over to the House side of the Capitol stirring up some of my knuckleheads and pushing them to do things that were the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. He was not even a member of our caucus,” Boehner said. “Just a bit bizarre that I’ve never seen happen before or since like the activities of Ted Cruz.”
Cruz has recently responded in their ongoing political feud, saying, “If you don’t speak Swamp-creature, here’s the translation: ‘stirring up some of the crazies of my own caucus to cause all kinds of problems’ means, ‘encouraging elected Members of Congress to actually honor the promises they made to the voters & DO WHAT THEY SAID THEY WOULD DO.'”
Boehner was also asked about President Joe Biden’s willingness to work across the aisle, especially after Biden has faced criticism from Republicans for achieving his agenda without input from Republicans.
“He’s a traditional Democrat, what he’s trying to do is hold his party together. There’s a skirmish going on between the progressive wing of the Democratic party and the traditional west wing of the Democratic party. Up to this point, President Biden has been keeping close to the progressive wing at the expense of working with Republicans to work in a bipartisan way. He’s got a very difficult job in his party these days. He’s got a very difficult job as it is being president. I’m hopeful that here in the coming weeks we’ll see President Biden reaching out,” the former House speaker said.
Boehner also said the book, which will be released Tuesday, is a reflection of his time in one of the nation’s highest offices.
“After I retired, I thought I had a pretty interesting life, very interesting career. I have a few stories and people might find it interesting. Then you take a couple years to get around and then putting the book together, and we finally got there. There was no intent to delay or no intent to wait,” Boehner said. “Once you get out of office, I’ve been out of office five years, you have a little time to reflect.”
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