Saturday 24 February 2018

Boehner: Trump presidency has been a disaster

Mr Boehner advised the president to be stopped from tweeting overnight (AP)
Mr Boehner advised the president to be stopped from tweeting overnight (AP)

Former US House speaker John Boehner said President Donald Trump's time in office has been a "complete disaster" - except for foreign policy.

Speaking at an energy conference in Houston on Thursday, Mr Boehner praised the president for his approach abroad and for being aggressive about fighting Islamic State militants

Mr Boehner said that everything else Mr Trump has done in office has been a complete disaster.

He said Mr Trump is still learning how to be president.

The former House speaker said he has been friends with Mr Trump for 15 years, but still has a hard time seeing him as president.

He also said the president, who is famous for his candour on Twitter, should not be allowed to tweet overnight.

David Schnittger, a spokesman for Mr Boehner, confirmed the comments.

According to industry publication Rigzone, Ohio Republican Mr Boehner said the Republican tax reform effort "is just a bunch of happy talk" and that the border adjustment tax - a major priority for Mr Boehner's successor, Speaker Paul Ryan - is "deader than a doornail".

He said he was more optimistic about tax reform earlier in the year, but "now my odds are 60/40".

Earlier this year, Mr Boehner said he was pessimistic about another congressional Republican priority - repealing and replacing former president Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.

Mr Boehner said that while Republicans would fix some problems of Mr Obama's law, repeal and replacement is "not going to happen".

He added: "Republicans never ever agree on health care."

The Republican-led House narrowly passed a bill earlier this month, but the Senate has struggled to produce legislation that everyone in the party can back.

On investigations into Russia, Mr Boehner told the Texas forum that "they need to get to the bottom of this", but said Democratic talk of impeachment is the best way to rile up Mr Trump's supporters.

Mr Boehner made it clear he is happier now that he has left Capitol Hill.

"I wake up every day, drink my morning coffee and say, 'Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah,'" he said, according to Rigzone.

And unsurprisingly, he has no ambitions to become president.

"I drink red wine. I smoke cigarettes. I golf. I cut my own grass. I iron my own clothes. And I'm not willing to give all that up to be president," he said.

Press Association

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