Chief of Staff Reince Priebus denied that President Trump’s tweet to “Watch @JudgeJeanine on @FoxNews tonight at 9:00 P.M.” had anything to do with her opening monologue in which the Fox News host called for House Speaker Paul Ryan to “step down.”
On Saturday morning the Trump tweeted:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 25, 2017
The President did not give any further information as to why he was promoting Pirro’s show and he did not appear as a guest on the show.
On her show that night, Jeanine Pirro unequivocally blamed Speaker Ryan for the AHCA’s failure, calling for him to “step down” for humiliating the President.
“Paul Ryan needs to step down as speaker of the house. The reason? He failed to deliver the votes on his healthcare bill,” Pirro said at the top of her show. “The one trumpeted to repeal and replace Obamacare. The one that he had 7 years to work on.”
Preibus told “Fox New Sunday” host Chris Wallace the tweet was “coincidental,” and not a backdoor way for the President to attempt to oust the Speaker.
“There was no pre-planning here,” Preibus told Wallace, continuing that the President sent the tweet as “favor” to Pirro.
Asked directly if the President wants Ryan to step down, Preibus said, “No, he doesn’t.”
“Reince Priebus on future of President Trump’s agenda” via FOX NEWS https://t.co/ecV0C7cPO0
— Wow (@Anthony55200) March 26, 2017
Pirro absolved President Trump of any blame for the bill’s failure, saying he relied on the Speaker because he didn’t understand how Congress works. (RELATED: Trump Tells Americans To Watch Show That Demands Ryan Step Down)
“Folks, I want to be clear,” Pirro said, “this is not on President Trump. No one expected a businessman to completely understand the nuances, the complicated ins and outs of Washington and its legislative process. How would he know which individuals upon whom he would be able to rely?”
“Now I certainly have not spoken with the President about any of this,” she said. “But I can only imagine that he and his aides only took on health care because they believed you had his back, and you didn’t.”
Repealing and replacing Obamacare was a promise Trump made throughout the campaign, including pledging to sign a bill “on day one.”
“Mr. President, all reports are that you wanted to handle the tax cuts first,” Pirro continued, “but that Ryan convinced you to go with health care. If that’s the case, not only has he hurt you with his health care debacle, but the ripples that will hurt you as you try to overhaul the tax code will come back at you.”
Pirro then turned on House conservatives in the Freedom Caucus, saying, “The Freedom Caucus, feeling emboldened by their win with this health care failure, will now dig their heels in on the tax cuts.”
“Ryan has hurt you going forward and he’s got to go,” she continued.
Pirro was unambiguous in casting all blame on Ryan and absolving President Trump.
Top presidential advisor Steve Bannon is a long-time critic of Paul Ryan.
— Jeanine Pirro (@JudgeJeanine) March 26, 2017