Former House Speaker John Boehner said earlier this week that Donald Trump’s presidency so far has been “a complete disaster” and that the billionaire-turned commander in chief is still learning the job.
“Everything else he’s done [in office] has been a complete disaster,” Boehner said during a question-and-answer session at a conference in Houston on Wednesday. “He’s still learning how to be president.”
The Former House Speaker, whose remarks were initially reported by the energy-sector publication Rigzone, said he and Trump had been friends for 15 years and that the two had played golf together multiple times. Still, Boehner said he “never envisioned him” becoming president.
Pressed further about Trump’s still-nascent administration, Boehner praised the president for his handling of international affairs and foreign policy, especially his aggressive stance toward the Islamic State.
Former House Speaker Boehner also tamped down talk of impeachment, calls for which have grown among House Democrats amid the swirling controversy of multiple investigations into the possibility of collusion between the Russian government and individuals with ties to Trump.
“Talk of impeachment is the best way to rile up Trump supporters,” Boehner said. “Remember, impeachment is not a legal process; it’s a political process.”
The former speaker said the president “did what he could” on legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare, perhaps the president’s most prominent campaign promise, but added Trump should have instead sought to repair his predecessor’s signature health care legislation.
Talk of tax reform, another legislative priority for Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress, is just “happy talk,” Boehner said. “I was a little more optimistic about it early in the year; now my odds are 60/40.”
The former speaker seemed content with his life as a retired politician and was quick to shoot down any talk of a future presidential bid.
“I wake up every day, drink my morning coffee and say hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah,” Boehner said. “I don’t want to be 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.”