President Trump lashed out against former House Speaker Paul Ryan in an interview published on Wednesday, saying he broke his word to fund the U.S.-Mexico border wall while Republicans controlled both the House and Senate if Trump signed the unpopular 2018 omnibus bill.
Trump’s harsh words towards Ryan, who retired from the House late 2018, were made in the context of the $1.3 trillion spending bill signed in March that avoided a government shutdown, but didn’t live up to the president’s campaign promise of funding the border wall.
“Well, I was going to veto the omnibus bill and Paul told me in the strongest of language, 'Please don't do that. We'll get you the wall.' And I said, 'I hope you mean that, because I don't like this bill,"' Trump told the Daily Caller.
"Paul told me in the strongest of terms that, 'Please sign this and if you sign this we will get you that wall.' Which is desperately needed by our country. Humanitarian crisis, trafficking, drugs, you know, everything — people, criminals, gangs, so, you know, we need the wall,” he added.
“Well, I was going to veto the omnibus bill and Paul told me in the strongest of language, 'Please don't do that. We'll get you the wall.' And I said, 'I hope you mean that, because I don't like this bill."'
The remarks came just days after Trump temporarily ended the government shutdown that lasted 35 days. The temporary measure, while re-opened the government, didn’t include money for the border wall.
Trump told the Daily Caller that after the budget showdown last year, Ryan “went lame duck” and stopped having an influence in Washington. “And once he went lame duck, it was just really an exercise in waving to people and the power was gone so I was very disappointed.”
He added: “I was very disappointed in Paul because the wall was so desperately needed. And I’ll get the wall.”
This week Trump ramped up his calls for the border wall in the midst the highly-anticipated State of the Union address next week.
He told the New York Times in a Friday interview that the talks of a border wall are “a waste of time” and blamed the gridlock in Washington on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
“I’ve actually always gotten along with her, but now I don’t think I will anymore,” Trump told the newspaper. “I think she’s doing a tremendous disservice to the country. If she doesn’t approve the wall, the rest of it’s just a waste of money and time and energy because it’s desperately needed.”
“I think Nancy Pelosi is hurting our country very badly by doing what’s she doing and, ultimately, I think I’ve set the table very nicely,” he added.