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Boehner goes easy on Trump in otherwise 'scorching' interview

Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) had no problem going after Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) in an interview that aired Sunday on CBS.

He singled Jordan out as a leading "political terrorist" in Congress. "I just never saw a guy spend more time tearing things apart and never building anything," Boehner told CBS's John Dickerson. As for Cruz, Boehner said he doesn't like to "beat anybody up, that's not really my style ... except that jerk." Cruz, he said, was a perfect example of a lawmaker stuck in a cycle of making "a lot of noise" and raising a lot of money.

Boehner is back in the news because he wrote a book chock full of takes just like that, arguing that U.S. politics, but especially the Republican Party, is caught in the grips of reactionaries like Jordan and Cruz.

One person Boehner held back on a bit in the interview, however, was former President Donald Trump. While he suggested Cruz and Jordan were at the forefront of the movement he attacks in his book, he called Trump a "product" of the political discourse and refused to say whether he considered Trump a political terrorist. "He has a little different style than I do," Boehner said, though Dickerson pointed out Boehner was much harsher on Trump in his book. Dickerson asked Boehner if he was just trying to avoid a "headache," to which Boehner replied, with a smile, "I'm not in office anymore. I don't have to answer all the questions that I used to have answer." Watch the full interview below. Tim O'Donnell