Former GOP House Speaker John Boehner, who long classified himself as a friend of former President Donald Trump, is siding with Republicans who blame him for the Jan. 6 insurrection, according to an excerpt of his forthcoming book obtained by The New York Times.
Boehner, who served as speaker from 2011 to 2015, has been critical of Trump before, but offers his first at-length assessment of the former president’s role in the deadly Jan. 6 attacks in his book, On the House: A Washington Memoir.
The former House speaker slams Trump for “stoking the flames of conspiracy” in the aftermath of the election, saying his false claims of voter fraud took “advantage of the trust placed in him by his supporters.”
Trump “incited that bloody insurrection for nothing more than selfish reasons, perpetuated by the bullsh-t he’d been shoveling since he lost a fair election the previous November,” writes Boehner.
Boehner says Trump is directly responsible for the insurrection, and that the former president’s refusal to accept the results of the election “cost Republicans the Senate,” in addition to sparking the “mob violence.”
“It was painful to watch,” writes Boehner, adding that he believes the GOP has been taken over by “whack jobs.”
“It should have been a wake-up call for a return to Republican sanity,” wrote Boehner. “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.”
“Was he drinking when he made this statement? Just another RINO [Republican in name only] who couldn’t do the job!” Trump wrote in a statement to The Times when asked about the excerpts.
Boehner and Trump were friends and golfing companions for years. The former House speaker voted for Trump in 2016, but remained bluntly critical of him—and the Republican Party as a whole—throughout his presidency. Boehner called on the GOP to “awaken” in the immediate aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack, and now joins a minority of the party who have labeled Trump as responsible.