A new tell-all book offers a behind-the-scenes look at the often rocky relationship between President Donald Trump and former House Speaker Paul Ryan who reportedly told the GOP they could “abandon” the then-nominee just a month before the 2016 election.
The book, “A Hill to Die On” by Politico’s Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer, covers the happenings in Congress from the 2016 election and under the Trump presidency, and features a look at the tensions between the president and Ryan as revealed in excerpts reported by Axios.
Ryan held “a rare conference call with all House Republicans” on Oct. 10, 2016, three days after the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape and just weeks before the election, according to the book. The tape revealed audio of Trump making vulgar comments about women in 2005 in a conversation with television host Billy Bush on their way to film an episode of “Access Hollywood.”
The book contends that on the conference call, Ryan essentially said: “Republicans should feel free to abandon Trump.”
“I am not going to defend Donald Trump,” Ryan reportedly said. “Not now, not in the future.”
“He couldn’t shake the fact that Trump was so vulgar. People just don’t talk like that where I’m from, he thought,” Sherman and Palmer reported in the book.
But the two then “had a heated phone conversation. Why are you popping me? Ryan asked the president. Because you just did it to me! Trump responded,” according to the book excerpts from Axios.
Tensions regularly flared between Trump and Ryan and, according to the book, one time “the president blew up at Ryan, angry he had not gotten enough money for his border wall. He asked the Speaker if he could move money from military spending on things like fighter jets to be spent on a wall. ‘You can’t do that,’ Ryan told him.”
Sherman and Palmer suggest that Ryan was “just tired” of the president when he decided not to run for re-lection.
“You couldn’t help but get the sense … that Ryan was just tired of Donald Trump,” they wrote. “Couldn’t-take-it-anymore tired.”
But last month, Ryan predicted that Trump will win reelection in 2020 because of his ideas and “record of accomplishment.”
The comment came as a sort of clarification after remarks he had made saying, “If this is about Donald Trump and his personality, he isn’t going to win it.”
The president’s son slammed Ryan as “the speaker who lied to us” in response.
The authors of “A Hill to Die On” had apparently asked Trump about Ryan’s lack of loyalty, something the president had reportedly called him on, according to a book written by former White House communications staffer, Cliff Sims.
“Because it’s life and we sort of need each other a little bit,” Trump had replied.