The retired House Speaker, former Republican Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, offered a withering assessment of how President Donald Trump has fared during his first four months in office.
On May 24, Boehner attended the KPMG Global Energy Conference as a keynote speaker. Taking questions from attendees, the former House Speaker was asked to offer his thoughts on the Trump administration, Rigzone reports.
Boehner stated that he had been personal friends with Trump for 15 years and that he was pleased with the president's approach to foreign policy and rooting out the Islamic State group (ISIS). Otherwise, the former House Speaker was not impressed.
"Everything else he's done [in office] has been a complete disaster," Boehner said of Trump. "He's still learning how to be president."
Boehner expressed skepticism that the GOP-majority Congress would be able to follow through on its agenda for health care and tax reform, noting that he had never viewed repealing and replacing the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act as realistic, but instead would have sought to improve it.
"I was a little more optimistic about [tax reform] early in the year; now my odds are 60/40 ... tax reform is just a bunch of happy talk," Boehner said.
The former House Speaker, when queried on the federal investigation into whether members of the Trump campaign had colluded with Russian officials to subvert the 2016 presidential election, asserted that any talk of the probe leading to impeachment was fantasy, noting the GOP-majority in both chambers of Congress.
"The crazy left wing Democratic colleagues of mine bringing up impeachment talks ... 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."
Boehner's comments echoed those of former President Gerald Ford. While serving as House Minority Speaker, Ford once stated in 1970 that presidential impeachment was determined by who was in political power, according to Vox.
"An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history," Ford said.
Boehner resigned from Congress in October 2015. In September, the former congressman began working for lobbying firm Squire Patton Boggs and became a board member of the tobacco corporation Reynolds American, according to The New York Times.
Since leaving Congress for the private sector, Boehner has been candid on a series of GOP topics.
During his keynote remarks, the former House Speaker signaled that he was thrilled to be retired from politics.
"I wake up every day, drink my morning coffee and say hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah," Boehner told the audience.
White House chief of staff Reince Priebus reportedly asked Boehner to convince Trump to sign a 2017 spending bill designed to keep the government afloat, according to a May 21 report by Axios.
Boehner told his associates that the president was unhappy with how the spending bill did not incorporate enough of his agenda. The former House Speaker had reportedly told the president to be happy with the legislation's increase for military funding, and warned that a government shutdown would damage his popularity.