Boehner at Trump's inauguration.
Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call,Inc.
Former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner may be out of the game, but that doesn't mean he won't still get political.
Speaking at the KPMG Global Energy Conference in Texas on Wednesday, the former Ohio representative offered a blunt assessment of President Donald Trump's first few months in office.
“He’s still learning how to be president,” Boehner said, in comments reported by trade publication Rigzone.
Boehner did praise Trump's handling of foreign policy and said world leaders would be glad the new president has taken an aggressive stance against ISIS.
“Everything else he’s done [in office] has been a complete disaster,” said Boehner, adding that he believes Trump should be banned from tweeting overnight.
Boehner spokesman David Schnittger confirmed the comments as authentic to the Associated Press.
Boehner pounding the gavel for the final time as speaker in 2015.
The Washington Post / Getty Images
The former congressman described being friendly with Trump for 15 years, playing golf together and receiving supportive phone calls from the businessman.
“But president? I just never envisioned him in that role,” Boehner said.
Boehner said he believes investigators “need to get to the bottom” of whether the Trump or Clinton campaigns had contacts with Russians during the election. But he warned Democrats against pushing impeachment too loudly.
“The crazy left wing Democratic colleagues of mine bringing up impeachment talks,” he said. “Talk of impeachment is the best way to rile up Trump supporters. Remember, impeachment is not a legal process; it’s a political process.”
Boehner, who wrangled House Republicans for four years as Speaker, said Trump and the GOP shouldn't be trying to “repeal and replace” Obamacare, but “repair” its defaults instead.
He's also no longer as optimistic the Republican-controlled Congress will be able to overhaul the tax code, describing it as “just a bunch of happy talk.”
“The border adjustment tax is deader than a doornail,” he said of one of current Speaker Paul Ryan's top priorities.
Boehner, who retired from politics in 2015 and handed over the speakership to Paul Ryan, said he's loving the quiet life.
“I wake up every day, drink my morning coffee and say, ‘Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah,’” he said.
He also said he has no plans to ever run for president, preferring a simpler life.
“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.