John Boehner details in his upcoming book the time then-businessman Donald Trump exploded at his staffer as an ‘idiot’ and screamed ‘f***ing listen’ when the aide got their golfing partners’ names wrong.
In his book ‘On the House: A Washington Memoir’, set for release next week, the former Republican House speaker says during the outing that day, Trump only played with a five handicap and Boehner was ‘blown away’ by how good he was at golf.
In an excerpt from the book released by Punchbowl News Thursday morning, Boehner recalled the bizarre day when during a fundraising swing he was out-of-the-blue paired with Trump for a round of golf at his Westchester, New York club against two insurance executives.
At the time, Boehner was House minority leader and it was several years before Trump made his 2016 run for the White House.
‘He was very friendly, but in an in-your-face, this-is-how-they-talk-in-New-York kind of a way that I was not used to at all. Direct, loud, intense,’ Boehner wrote. ‘Pretty much the same guy who got elected to the White House. I can tell you that with Trump, what you saw was what you got – for better or worse.’
”Boehner!’ Trump said when we were ready to start. ‘You and I are gonna take these two turkeys on and whip ’em.’ That was okay with me,’ he continued in the book, revealing the name Trump used to describe their golf opponents that day.
The memoir will be released on Tuesday, April 13 and is already No. 19 in books on Amazon, where it is available for pre-order.
Former House Speaker John Boehner detailed in his new book the time he golfed with Donald Trump and the businessman called the then-House minority leader’s staffer John Criscuolo a an ‘idiot’ who needs to ‘f***ing listen’
Boehner says he didn’t believe Trump when he said he was only had a five handicap, and claims he was ‘blown away’ at how good Trump is at golf
Trump’s impromptu addition to the game with Boehner left him unaware of their opponents’ names, so he asked Boehner’s aide John Criscuolo, known familiarly as BJ – to which he was told their names, and changed in the context of the book.
”I think they’re Joe and Jeff,’ BJ told him. So Trump said hello to Joe and hello to Jeff and we set off,’ Boehner wrote of the interaction between Trump and Criscuolo.
He said that at the end of the game, where Trump and Boehner emerged victorious, the club owner shook hands and said: ‘Good match, Joe,’ ‘Well done, Jeff.’
‘Finally, one of the guys stopped us. He had kind of a weird look on his face, and I could see something awkward was coming. ‘Guys,’ he said, ‘our names are Mike and David.”
‘We had been calling these guys the wrong names over and over, all day long, and they were either too polite or too shy to correct us the whole time,’ the excerpt reveals.
Boehner says while he laughed it off – and so did the high-profile executives – Trump was furious.
‘This sort of glower fell across his face,’ Boehner detailed. ‘The kind of look I could tell that you didn’t want to see too often if you happened to work for him.’
Boehner continues: ‘He marched over to BJ and got right in his face to the point that BJ might have had to take a step or two back. Then Trump shouted, ‘What are you, some kind of idiot?’ These guys’ names are Mike and David!”
‘Then he gave the young man a piece of advice that he – and I – have never forgotten. And I hesitate to put an expletive in the mouth of a former president of the United States, but here it goes anyway. ‘You want to know how to remember somebody’s name?’ Trump asked. ‘You f***ing LISTEN!”
Boehner spelled out the swear word in his book, where he uses other expletives in his own writing, as well.
Criscuolo still worked with Boehner.
‘We laughed about that at the time, and since,’ Boehner wrote, adding: ‘[B]ut there was something dark about it too.’
‘I’d never seen anybody treat a staffer like that – not in politics, not ever,’ the excerpt reads. ‘This was more than New York bluster. This was real anger, over something very, very small.
‘We had no idea then what that anger would do to our country.’
Boehner and Trump are avid golfers. Here the former speaker hits the links with then-President Barack Obama in 2011
BOEHNER WAS ‘BLOWN AWAY’ BY TRUMP’S FIVE GOLF HANDICAP
Before the game kicked off at Trump’s Palm Beach golf club, the businessman revealed his handicap was only five.
Boehner says he was a 10 and the other two players were at 12 and 14 handicaps.
But the lifelong Republican politician said he was shocked that Trump actually turned out to be a fantastic golfer.
‘There’s no way this guy is a five handicap,’ Boehner said he thought when Trump revealed his number ‘ matter-of-factly.’
‘I’m going to have to carry him around on my back all day,’ he wrote the thought that went through his mind.
‘But Trump ended up birdying three of the first five holes – that’s going one under par three times, or one under the standard number of strokes a hole usually needs, for those rusty at golf terms,’ he wrote.
‘It absolutely blew me away. Holy s**t, I thought, this guy can play golf.’
Boehner said that paired with Trump, they won against the two executives they were up against in their foursome that day.
‘Over 18 holes, we talked about this and that,’ he wrote. ‘Nothing particularly memorable, but had I known back then I was walking around with the 45th president, I might have paid better attention.’
Other parts of Boehner’s book have been leaked by those who received an early copy, including claiming Trump was responsible for the Capitol attack on January 6.
TRUMP HITS BACK AT BOEHNER’S BOOK
Trump lashed out at that claim on Wednesday after an excerpt revealed Boehner felt Trump incited the event by ‘shoveling bulls***’ election fraud claims.
‘Was he drinking when he made this statement? Just another RINO who couldn’t do the job,’ Trump said in response to the comments in Boehner’s new book.
He claimed in the memoir that the then-president incited the ‘bloody insurrection for nothing more than selfish reasons’ and accuses GOP ‘whack jobs’ who backed the bid to overthrow the election of encouraging ‘actual terrorism.’
The chain-smoking, red wine-sipping former GOP speaker doesn’t hold back in his memoir.
Boehner describes Senator Ted Cruz as a ‘reckless a**hole’ details his battles with Tea Party Republicans and Fox News and reveals he was attacked by members of his own party for saying that Barack Obama was born in America.
But his harshest criticism is toward Trump, the head of his party. In a stunning rebuke of the former president, Boehner writes that Trump’s ‘refusal to accept the result of the election not only cost Republicans the Senate but led to mob violence,’ adding: ‘It was painful to watch.’
Boehner writes, in book excerpts obtained by The New York Times: ‘I’ll admit I wasn’t prepared for what came after the election — Trump refusing to accept the results and stoking the flames of conspiracy that turned into violence in the seat of our democracy, the building over which I once presided.’
Trump, repeatedly and falsely, claimed he won the November 2020 election and falsely accused Joe Biden of stealing it.
There has been no evidence of voter fraud, multiple recounts confirmed Biden’s victory, and courts threw out the Trump campaign’s challenges to the results.
Donald Trump hit back when an excerpt of the book was leaked with Boehner slamming the president for inciting the January 6 ‘bloody insurrection for nothing more than selfish reasons’. Trump responded by saying Boehner was ‘another RINO who couldn’t do the job’ and asked ‘was he drinking wine when he made this statement’
‘TRUMP INCITED THE RIOT FOR NOTHING MORE THAN SELFISH REASONS’
Boehner called the January 6th riot, where Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on the day Congress was certifying Biden’s win, ‘one of the lowest points of American democracy.’
‘Watching it was scary, and sad. It should have been a wake-up call for a return to Republican sanity,’ he wrote.
Trump, he writes, ‘incited that bloody insurrection for nothing more than selfish reasons, perpetuated by the bull**** he’d been shoveling since he lost a fair election the previous November.’
In response, Jason Miller, a spokesman for Trump, called Boehner a ‘Swamp Creature.’
In his book, Boehner tears into Trump for falsely claiming the election was stolen: ‘He claimed voter fraud without any evidence, and repeated those claims, taking advantage of the trust placed in him by his supporters and ultimately betraying that trust.’
Former Republican House Speaker John Boehner calls Jan. 6 ‘one of the lowest points of American democracy’ in his new book ‘On the House: A Washington Memoir’
REPUBLICANS ‘ENCOURAGED ACTUAL TERRORISM’
Boehner also slammed Republican lawmakers who supported Trump’s attempt to overthrow the electoral college certification on January 6th.
Republican Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, along with GOP House members Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan, Marjorie Taylor Greene and many others, were among those objecting.
‘Some of the people involved did not surprise me in the least. The legislative terrorism that I’d witnessed as speaker had now encouraged actual terrorism,’ Boehner wrote.
Boehner was not the only Republican leader to castigate Trump for his refusal to concede to Biden or for his role in the January 6th insurrection.
After the riot, McCarthy criticized Trump from the House floor for not doing enough during the event to calm his supporters storming the building, leaving a wave of destruction in their path. Ultimately five people died in connection to the MAGA riot.
And Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell criticized Trump at the end of his second impeachment trial for his role on January 6th. Ten House Republicans, including Rep. Liz Cheney, a member of GOP leadership, voted to impeach Trump over his role in the insurrection.
But Boehner’s comments are the harshest. And his blistering, salty language falls in line with other excerpts from his book, where Boehner torn into ‘lunatics’ and ‘morons’ in his own party and reveals he was criticized for confirming that Barack Obama was born in America.
Former House Speaker John Boehner (left) wrote in his new book that Republicans and right-wing media figures truly believed President Barack Obama (right) was a ‘secret Kenyan Muslim traitor’
ATTACKED FOR CONFIRMING OBAMA WAS BORN IN HAWAII
Boehner recalled the pushback he received from members of his party when he went on Meet The Press and vouched that Obama was born in the United States.
‘The state of Hawaii has said that President Obama was born there. That’s good enough for me,’ Boehner said in January 2011.
He also wrote about the moment he realized the ‘lunatics’ had grown more powerful than Republican leadership.
‘I got all kinds of sh** for it—emails, letters, phone calls. It went on for a couple weeks.
‘I knew we would hear from some of the crazies, but I was surprised at just how many there really were,’ Boehner wrote.
‘All of this crap swirling around was going to make it tough for me to cut any deals with Obama as the new House Speaker. Of course, it has to be said that Obama didn’t help himself much either.’
‘But on the other hand – how do you find common cause with people who think you are a secret Kenyan Muslim traitor to America?’ Boehner observed.
‘YOU COULD BE A TOTAL MORON AND GET ELECTED WITH AN ‘R’ NEXT TO YOUR NAME IN 2010′
Boehner ascended to the speakership in 2011 after the Tea Party movement helped the GOP capture the House majority two years into Obama’s tenure.
He recalled how Obama called the experience a ‘shellacking.’
‘And oh boy, was it ever,’ Boehner wrote in an excerpt for Politico Magazine that was released Friday. ‘You could be a total moron and get elected just by having an R next to your name – and that year, by the way, we did pick up a fair number in that category.’
Boehner complained about the tone of the new Tea Party-tied members.
‘Since I was presiding over a large group of people who’d never sat in Congress, I felt I owed them a little tutorial on governing.
‘I had to explain how to actually get things done,’ he explained. ‘A lot of that went straight through the ears of most of them, especially the ones who didn’t have brains that got in the way. Incrementalism? Compromise? That wasn’t their thing.’
‘A lot of them wanted to blow up Washington. That’s why they thought they were elected,’ he continued.
CLASHES WITH RUPERT MURDOCH, ROGER AILES AND SEAN HANNITY
On top of that, the conservative media establishment was leaning into conspiracy theories and elevating those who spouted them, Boehner observed.
The former speaker recalled a meeting he had in the early 90s with the late Roger Ailes, who became CEO of Fox News Channel and Rupert Murdoch.
They were talking to Boehner about this new TV network they were starting, Fox News.
Former Speaker John Boehner’s book, ‘On the House: A Washington Memoir,’ comes out on April 13
‘I had no idea I was listening to the outline of something that would make my life a living hell down the line,’ Boehner observed.
Cut to 2011, and Boehner watched how ‘birther-ism’ – the conspiracy theory that Obama wasn’t born in the United States – went from the internet to, by his calculation, radio host Mark Levin. ‘It got him ratings, so eventually he dragged Hannity and Rush to Looneyville along with him,’ Boehner said.
‘My longtime friend Roger Ailes, the head of Fox News, was not immune to this,’ Boehner added. ‘He got swept into the conspiracies and the paranoia and became an almost unrecognizable figure.’
Boehner wrote about confrontations he had with Ailes and also with Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity.
Ailes, the Ohio Republican recalled, told him how Obama, the Clintons and George Soros were ‘trying to destroy him’ and so he had installed a ‘safe room’ in his house.
‘It was like he’d been reading whacked-out spy novels all weekend,’ Boehner recalled. ‘I thought I could get him to control the crazies, and instead I found myself talking to the president of the club. One of us was crazy. Maybe it was me.’
Sean Hannity hit back at Boehner’s comments and said ‘he will down as one of the worst Republican speakers in history. He added: ‘He’s weak, timid and what’s up with all the crying John?’
‘At some point I called him a nut,’ Boehner added.
After Hannity started going after Boehner on his show night after night, the House speaker called him up to ask, ‘What the hell?’
Hannity, according to Boehner, pushed back that the speaker didn’t ‘have a plan.’
Look, our plan is pretty simple: we’re just going to stand up for what we believe in as Republicans,’ Boehner said he shot back.
The Ohio Republican said his relationship with Hannity, after that conversation, never got any better.
Hannity made that clear in a tweet Friday.
‘John Boehner will go down in history as one of the worst Republican speakers in history. He’s weak, timid and what’s up with all the crying John?’ the Fox News Channel host tweeted. ‘There was not a single time I was around him when he didn’t just reek of cigarette smoke and wine breath,’ Hannity added.
‘I’m glad he finally found his true calling in life in the ‘weed industry,” Hannity said in a second tweet.
Boehner has lobbied for a cannabis group since leaving office.
Boehner (right) referred to Rep. Michele Bachmann (left) as a ‘lunatic’ and said she was one of the ‘first prototypes’ out of Fox News Channel’s laboratory of ‘fringe characters’
TEA PARTY MEMBER MICHELE BACHMANN WAS A ‘LUNATIC’
Boehner recalled a conversation he had with Rep. Michele Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican, who had presidential ambitions.
Bachmann was one of the ‘fringe characters’ that Fox was responsible for turning into a media star, Boehner said. ‘One of the first prototypes out of their laboratory was a woman named Michele Bachmann,’ he said of the overall trend.
Bachmann, who was starting her third term in Congress, told Boehner she wanted to be put on the House Ways and Means Committee, which is the House’s most powerful.
That was never going to happen because she would need the approval of the Steering Committee – so it was technically out of his hands – but Boehner was going to be put in a tough position because she didn’t do nuance.
When he diplomatically told her no, she pushed back saying, ‘Well, then I’ll just have to go talk to Sean Hannity and everybody at Fox. And Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and everybody else on the radio, and tell them that this is how John Boehner is treating the people who made is possible for the Republicans to take back the House.’
Boehner introduces Sen. Ted Cruz (pictured) as the ‘new head lunatic leading the way’ adding that ‘there is nothing more dangerous than a reckless a**hole who thinks he is smarter than everyone else’
Ted Cruz responded to an audio clip of John Boehner telling him to f*** himself with a ‘Mean Girls’ gif
‘I wasn’t the one with the power, she was saying. I just thought I was. She had the power now,’ Boehner said. ‘She was right, of course.’
Boehner ended up putting Bachman on the House Intelligence Committee, admitting that she ‘did her homework’ and impressed other members on the panel.
TED CRUZ: THE LEADER OF THE ‘CHAOS CAUCUS’
Boehner concluded his excerpt by previewing what happened to the ‘chaos caucus’ in the next cycle.
‘Ladies and gentleman, meet Senator Ted Cruz,’ Boehner wrote, referring to the Texas Republican who took office in 2013. Boehner dubbed Cruz the ‘new head lunatic leading the way.’
‘There is nothing more dangerous than a reckless a**hole who thinks he is smarter than everyone else,’ Boehner said.
Boehner ended the chapter with a cliffhanger: ‘[Cruz] enlisted the crazy caucus of the GOP in what was a truly dumbass idea. Not that anybody asked me.’
He was likely previewing the chaotic 2013 government shutdown.
On Friday, Axios reporter Jonathan Swan shared a clip of Boehner’s audiobook, in which he randomly inserts, ‘P.S., Ted Cruz, go f*** yourself.’
Cruz responded to the tweet by sharing a ‘Mean Girls’ gif that read, ‘Why are you so obsessed with me?’
Boehner reveals he clashed with Rupert Murdoch at meetings in the 1990s, when Fox News was in its early days, and believes Roger Ailes ‘got swept into the conspiracies and the paranoia’ of birtherism conspiracy theories. Ailes and Murdoch are pictured in 1996