John Boehner, the Republican former House speaker, points a stinging denunciation in his new guide of Donald J. Trump, saying that the previous president “incited that bloody insurrection” by his supporters on the Capitol on Jan. 6 and that the Republican Party has been taken over by “whack jobs.”
The criticism from Mr. Boehner in his guide, “On the House: A Washington Memoir,” represents a rare public rebuke by a former speaker of the House towards a former president from his personal celebration and exhibits how a lot the Republican Party has shifted since Mr. Boehner left Congress in 2015. And his remarks got here as Mr. Trump has sought to retain his grip on Republican lawmakers’ loyalty from his new political base in South Florida.
The Senate minority chief, Mitch McConnell, sharply criticized Mr. Trump on the finish of the Senate trial for the previous president’s second impeachment, pointing to his position within the Capitol riot. Others, like Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 within the House Republican management, have additionally excoriated him.
But Mr. Boehner’s remarks went a step additional, serving as a rejection of what the celebration he as soon as helped lead has morphed into during the last a number of years. While he has criticized Mr. Trump prior to now, it’s his feedback in regards to the occasions of Jan. 6 which have probably the most resonance.
In the guide, an excerpt from which was obtained by The New York Times, Mr. Boehner writes that Mr. Trump’s “refusal to accept the result of the election not only cost Republicans the Senate but led to mob violence,” including, “It was painful to watch.”
At one other level, he writes, “I’ll admit I wasn’t prepared for what came after the election — Trump refusing to accept the results and stoking the flames of conspiracy that turned into violence in the seat of our democracy, the building over which I once presided.”
He provides: “Watching it was scary, and sad. It should have been a wake-up call for a return to Republican sanity.” Nodding to the divisions between the events in Congress now, he writes, “Whatever they end up doing, or not doing, none of it will compare to one of the lowest points of American democracy that we lived through in January 2021.”
Mr. Trump, he goes on, “incited that bloody insurrection for nothing more than selfish reasons, perpetuated by the bullshit he’d been shoveling since he lost a fair election the previous November.” Mr. Boehner writes, “He claimed voter fraud without any evidence, and repeated those claims, taking advantage of the trust placed in him by his supporters and ultimately betraying that trust.”
In an emailed assertion, Jason Miller, a spokesman for Mr. Trump, known as Mr. Boehner a “Swamp Creature” and accused him of favoring “Communist China.” In a separate e mail to The Times, Mr. Trump requested of Mr. Boehner, whose love of merlot wine is famous in Washington: “Was he drinking when he made this statement? Just another RINO who couldn’t do the job!”
The former president has continued to make wild and false claims about widespread voter fraud within the election, regardless of a number of court docket rulings in opposition to him and the certification of President Biden’s victory.
Of members of the House and the Senate who supported Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the election outcomes, Mr. Boehner writes: “Some of the people involved did not surprise me in the least. The legislative terrorism that I’d witnessed as speaker had now encouraged actual terrorism.”
Mr. Boehner, whose tenure within the House Republican management coincided with the congressional obstruction of the Obama years and who was subsumed by the rise of the Tea Party and House members who have been rewarded by conservative media appearances, writes that the G.O.P. should “take back control from the faction that had grown to include everyone from garden-variety whack jobs to insurrectionists.”
For now, Mr. Trump has retained assist amongst Republican voters. A slim majority wish to see him because the celebration’s nominee once more if he runs in 2024, one thing he has instructed advisers he’s severe about contemplating. And some House G.O.P. officers are deeply involved about holding him on their facet of their efforts to retake management within the midterm elections subsequent 12 months.