Donald Trump and then-House Speaker Paul Ryan

In a sign both of his insecure ego and his confidence that he does not need all Republicans to win re-election, Donald Trump has insulted former House Speaker Paul Ryan.

As is often the case, Trump was triggered by a remark critical of his leadership and character.

In the new book American Carnage, by Politico’s Tim Alberta, Ryan says of Trump during the 2016 campaign — amid revelations of Trump’s derogation of and sexual aggression against women — and his first two years in office:

We’ve gotten so numbed by it all. Not in government, but where we live our lives, we have a responsibility to try and rebuild.

Don’t call a woman a “horse face”. Don’t cheat on your wife. Don’t cheat on anything. Be a good person. Set a good example.

Late Thursday, Trump declared in a tweet that the former Speaker had left “his Party in the lurch both as a fundraiser & leader”, as Ryan decided not to run for re-election last November. Then, during a visit to Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin, Trump called the 10-term representative a “baby”.

McCarthy, who became House Minority Leader after the Democrats took control in January, has been unstinting in his praise of Trump’s policies and behavior. In return, Trump has frequently referred to the California representative as “My Kevin”.

Trump has often attacked Republican politicians who have dared question his character or approach. He continues to rage against John McCain, the 2008 Presidential nominee who died last summer, ordering the US military to hide a destroyer named after the late Senator during Trump’s visit to Japan in May.

In his Friday tweet snapping at Ryan, Trump also renewed his chiding of Mitt Romney, the US Senator from Utah and 2012 Presidential nominee. Romney criticized Trump’s behavior towards women during the 2016 campaign, and he cautiously but clearly challenged Trump this spring over the Mueller Report setting out Trump-Russia links and Trump’s possible obstruction of justice.