April 28, 2016 1:31 PM EDT

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz responded pointedly on Thursday to former House Speaker John Boehner’s comments that Cruz was “lucifer in the flesh,” saying that Boehner had “allowed his inner Trump to come out.”

“The interesting thing is I’ve never worked with John Boehner, I don’t know the man,” Cruz told reporters, in remarks reported by CNN. “Indeed, during the government shut down, I reached out to John Boehner, to work with him to get something meaningful done. He said, ‘I have no interest in talking to you.'”

“When John Boehner calls me Lucifer, he is directing it at you. What Boehner is angry at is me standing with the American people,” Cruz continued.

Boehner and Cruz clashed repeatedly since the Texas senator took his seat in 2013, fighting over how to challenge Obamacare and the government shutdown.

The Texas senator also tweeted a response to Boehner, who said on Wednesday night at Stanford University he was a “texting buddy” of Donald Trump’s.

Cruz is widely disliked on Capitol Hill, where he is known for railing publicly against his Senate colleagues and fellow Republicans.

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